EU progress report justifies security bill: Turkish interior minister
A picture shows Turkey's Interior Minister Efkan Ala (C) attending a session of the Turkish Parliament in Ankara. AFP PhotoTurkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala has attempted to justify the government’s controversial homeland security bill by referring to the EU’s 2014 Progress Report on Turkey, which stated that “reforms are needed to improve civilian scrutiny of the military, the police, the gendarmerie and the intelligence services.”
Speaking at a joint press conference along with EU Minister Volkan Bozkır, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, after a meeting of the Reform Action Group (REG) on Feb. 20, Ala particularly referred to a contentious arrangement in the draft that gives the highest administrative officer of a province, the governor, the authority to assume powers that rightly belong to the prosecutorial authorities.
Ala cited a sentence in the report stating: “In particular, civilian oversight by governors of the Turkish gendarmerie’s law enforcement activities remained insufficient.”
“There are arrangements [in the security bill] that increase civilian oversight of the gendarmerie, the
police, and the coast guard, affiliating the gendarmerie and the coast guard with the Interior Ministry.
Shouldn’t the civilian will and administration be authorized, so that those responsible for maintaining public order will fulfill their responsibilities in the way the citizen wants? What can be more natural than that? This is a delayed reform,” he added.