New decree law in Turkey imposes military service on terror convicts

New decree law in Turkey imposes military service on terror convicts

New decree law in Turkey imposes military service on terror convicts Individuals found to be members of terrorist organizations or in relation to terror organizations may be sent to perform military service immediately, according to a new decree law issued by the Turkish government under the ongoing state of emergency.  

The government issued decree law numbered 691 under the state of emergency rule late on June 22, adding an article to the Military Service Law. According to the new article, “those who are members or have a relation to terrorist organizations or organizations that participate in actions against the state’s national security … will be taken under arms [sent to perform military service].”

Discussing the changes introduced by the new amendment, Defence Minister Fikri Işık said the regulation also focused on police officers who were exempted from military service, which is obligatory for all male Turkish citizens. 

“If police officers leave their positions before completing their tenth year in the police force they are obliged to fulfil their military duties. But if this duty was exempted for some reason, they would not fulfil their military obligation. This regulation is about those officers who were exempted from their duties,” Işık said in an interviewer on private broadcaster NTV on June 23. 

New protocol for helicopter obstacle detection 

Meanwhile, as the deadly May 31 crash of a helicopter that hit a high-voltage transmission line brought up the issue of helicopter obstacle detection systems in military vehicles, Işık said a new decree law would change regulations for the height of new constructions around Turkey. 

According to the new decree, the Map General Command will be informed about all built or planned vertical obstacles and related institutions will be obliged to update information related to their jurisdiction. 

“After 13 were killed in the helicopter crash, we gave an instruction for an immediate solution. We will activate portative GPS modules on tablets within three months and those modules will be updated regularly with the information received by the Map General Command,” Işık said. 

Amendment to criminal code concerning terror cases

The decree also amends certain articles in Turkey’s Criminal Code related to terror offences. 

According to the decree, in cases opened about crimes against the state, coup or terrorism, if the address of a defendant is not available, the court will only have to declare the summary of the case in a national newspaper with a circulation of over 50,000. No further notification will be made to inform the defendants. 

In addition, soldiers who have spent more than three days outside the country’s border without an official permit will be considered “fugitive” and punished accordingly. Previously, the Constitutional Court had decided to cancel jail sentences of soldiers who are abroad without permission.

Işık said the regulation aims “to ensure that there will not be any legal gap about [Fethullahist Terror Organization] FETÖ fugitives who have fled abroad.”

Also according to the decree, if a court lacks grounds for legal action after a cautionary judgement has been made about the property of real and legal entities in cases of crimes committed against the state and terrorism, the caution will be lifted in two years rather than one year.