New decree to restrict use of assembly and demonstration rights in Turkey
Mesut Hasan BENLİ - ANKARA
AP PhotoA change in the 1985-dated decree regulating the right to assembly and demonstrate restricts the use of this right considerably. The change grants the governors and district governors to cancel any meeting or demonstration on the grounds of posing a risk to the public order.
The Interior Ministry renewed the regulation and restricted the use of rights on assembly and demonstration. The new decree has brought authorization of civilian authority for banning the assembly and demonstration on cases of “open and close danger.”
According to the amendment, the route of any assembly and demonstration march will first be shown to district or province representatives of the parliament’s political parties, with district and province mayors and the three unions that have the highest number of members, along with public professional organizations. Permission will be given by highest administrative chief of the locale.
The supervising authority will choose the routes of the march if there is more than one alternative. The supervising authority will also be responsible for blocking and informing security officers about attendees wearing symbols of illegal groups and those covering their faces.
While a previous regulation gave security officers the right to “disperse the group by using force,” the amendment now allows security forces to “use pressurized water, colored water or other methods of force.” The police will be authorized to make detentions without warning if they determine any crime has been committed.