Parliament debate on controversial security bill postponed until next week
ANKARAParliamentary debates scheduled to begin today on the government’s contentious new security bill have been postponed at least until next week.
According to parliament’s preannounced schedule, the General Assembly-level debates on “the draft law changing various articles of the Law on the Powers and Duties of the Police, the Law on Gendarmerie Organization, Duties and Authorities, the Law on Population Services; and Some Laws and Some Statutory Decrees,” had been set to begin on Feb. 4.
On Feb. 3, General Assembly debates on a draft mining law could not be held upon the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) request for a roll call of deputies present. The roll call, taken twice, revealed that the required quorum was not met.
Accordingly, debates on the draft mining law have been extended to Feb. 4, and as a result the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has decided to push back debates on the security bill to next week.
It will not be possible to hold the security bill debates on Feb. 5, as the General Assembly is set to debate a censure motion filed by the CHP against Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, private broadcaster CNN Türk reported. The ruling AKP, which holds the majority at parliament, also decided not to gather the General Assembly on Feb. 6, pushing the debate on the security package back to Tuesday, Feb. 10.
In fact, in line with the government’s wish to have the bill urgently adopted this week, General Assembly meetings had been planned to take place on Friday and Saturday, when parliament does not usually convene.
The postponement of the bill comes a day after Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş urged on Feb. 3 the other two opposition parties to “block parliament” in order to prevent the voting on the security package.
“I address all opposition parties: Let’s join hands and block parliament. Let’s not allow this draft bill to become law for months. The opposition can achieve this if it cooperates,” Demirtaş told his party deputies at parliament, claiming that the draft will be used to oppress upcoming protests.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli have also loudly voiced their strict objection to the bill.