Gov’t introduces strict legal measures against plotters in initial State of Emergency decree

Gov’t introduces strict legal measures against plotters in initial State of Emergency decree

Gov’t introduces strict legal measures against plotters in initial State of Emergency decree A decree law released as part of Turkey’s ongoing state of emergency increases the legally permitted period of detention to 30 days from the current two, while also ordering the closure of a number of schools, hospitals and foundations linked to U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. 

“There will be a second [decree law]. Work is underway now. Serious measures have to be taken in order to avoid the repetition of such bloody coup attempts,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told private broadcaster NTV late on July 23. “This organization has other sources. So measures will include eliminating these sources.”

The decree law was released over the weekend after the government declared a state of emergency for 90 days, which it says is necessary in order to efficiently fight against Gülenist plotters within the state and to investigate the more than 13,000 people detained following the failed attempted coup, which the government blames on the Gülen movement.

One of the most important aspects of the decree law extends the duration of detention to 30 days, said to be necessary as taking the testimonies of the many detainees taken in so far will take longer than usual. 

The same decree ordered the closure of 35 hospitals, 1,043 private schools and dormitories, 15 private universities, 1,229 associations and foundations, and 19 trade unions for links to Fethullah Gülen, the U.S.-based Islamic scholar who was allegedly behind the coup attempt on July 15.

Yıldırım said the government could ask parliament to extend the state of emergency for another three months if necessary, “but we’re hopeful that we’ll put our house in order within 90 days.”

Coordination council formed 

The government has announced the formation of an institution under the authority of the prime minister to oversee the government’s actions as part of the state of emergency and to coordinate steps to be taken. 

The Prime Ministry’s circular about the State of Emergency Coordination Committee was published in the Official Gazette late on July 23. The committee will include representatives from the ministries of interior, justice, labor and social security, foreign affairs, finance, defense and education. The Prime Ministry’s undersecretary will also participate in the body.       

Other important items of the decree law include the following: 

- The decree allows the Defense Ministry to sack any military personnel.

- The decree bans individuals from returning to work in state institutions after being suspended from another, in a bid to prevent suspended state employees from returning to their jobs.

- Any institution, organization, university, hospital, association or trade union linked to the Gülen movement will be shut down upon a decision from the relevant ministry, on the grounds it poses a threat to national security. 

- Around 5,000 judges and prosecutors will be recruited by the Justice Ministry without waiting for the accomplishment of a two-year internship, in order to replace those who have been dismissed.  

- Soldiers accused of taking part in the coup attempt will be imprisoned in a high security prison. 

- Meetings of the accused with their lawyers will be able to be recorded using audio or visual equipment, in order to prevent cryptic messages or instructions being given through lawyers.