Gov’t insists immunity for civilians only for two coup days
The government has insisted the newly declared state of emergency decree granting legal immunity for civilians from the criminal liability of their combat during the coup attempt only includes incidents that occurred on the night of the coup attempt on July 15 and the following morning.
“The regulation does not include incidents post-July 15,” Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Bekir Bozdağ told reporters on Dec. 26.
His comments came as a clarification for the article of the controversial decree, which is criticized for its vagueness, as it could potentially cover current terror incidents or any possible coup attempt.
The decree law has granted immunity for civilians who have fought against the putschists, for their deeds during the coup attempt on July 15 and “for actions that are extensions of these incidents.”
The last phrase stirred the debate that it could pave the way for “paramilitary forces” and could even lead to “civil war.”
The decree does not cover the period “before the coup attempt or after,” Bozdağ said, stressing that the legislation is “certainly not a vague arrangement and is clear.”
“No new arrangements are necessary” to clarify its context, he added.
“Even if this regulation did not exist, no one would dare launch an investigation against the people who rushed to the streets to fight against the coup plotters,” he said.
If those people “injured soldiers while taking them out of tanks,” no one would dare accuse those citizens, he added.
“It was the legitimate duty of our citizens on July 15 and it is not a crime. No one can accuse those on the street against the coup,” Bozdağ stated.
The spokesperson also said that in his opinion, such a legislation is not even necessary because the coup attempt was a crime according to the Turkish constitution and it was the duty of all citizens to defend their nation and democracy.
He also refuted criticisms that the decree law granted amnesty for those civilians.
Bozdağ noted that the decree defined all actions under the coup attempt as “terrorist acts.”