Turkey mulls new terror laws as emergency ends

People wave Turkish flags during a commemoration event for the second anniversary of a botched coup attempt, in Ankara. (AP)
Updated 19 July 2018
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Turkey mulls new terror laws as emergency ends

  • Some 130,000 civil servants have been purged from government jobs for purported links to terror organizations
  • Turkey has arrested more than 75,000 people for alleged links to Fethullah Gulen

ANKARA: As Turkey’s controversial two-year-long state of emergency comes to an end, the government is set to introduce new anti-terrorism laws it says are needed to deal with continued security threats.
The opposition insists the laws are just as oppressive as the emergency powers they will replace.
Turkey declared a three-month state of emergency days after a violent failed coup attempt in 2016, and has extended it seven times since then.
As part of a campaign promise before his victory in month’s elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had pledged not to prolong the state of emergency when it expires at midnight Wednesday.
Instead, a parliamentary committee is on Thursday scheduled to debate government-proposed legislation that, among other things, would allow authorities to press ahead with mass dismissals of civil servants and hold some suspects in custody for up to 12 days. A vote in the general assembly could be held next week.
Under the state of emergency, Turkey has arrested more than 75,000 people for alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric whom Ankara blames for the failed coup attempt.
Some 130,000 civil servants have been purged from government jobs for purported links to terror organizations.
Among them are judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, teachers and academics. Many have repeatedly declared their innocence. Gulen himself denies involvement in the coup attempt.
If approved, the new anti-terror laws would also allow governors to bar entry into certain regions for up to 15 days. Open-air demonstrations would be restricted to daylight hours.
“They are bringing to Parliament new legislation that is aimed at making the state of emergency permanent,” Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party said of the anti-terror laws on Tuesday.
Turkey says the anti-terror measures are necessary because it is the target of several “terror” groups, including a network of Gulen supporters, Kurdish rebels and Daesh.


Iran denies allegations of spying on German army

Updated 33 min 56 sec ago
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Iran denies allegations of spying on German army

  • Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office said last week that a 50-year-old German-Afghan dual citizen was detained
  • The suspect spied on the army for years and had access to highly classified material, including on German missions in Afghanistan

TEHRAN: Iran has dismissed allegations by German prosecutors that an army employee was spying for Tehran.
The semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi as saying that “enemies” were aiming to “sour relations” between Iran and Europe.
He appeared to be referring to the United States and Israel, which have pressed European nations to withdraw from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office said last week that a 50-year-old German-Afghan dual citizen was detained in the western Rhineland region. The German Defense Ministry confirmed the allegations but declined to give any further details.
German news site Spiegel Online reported that the suspect spied on the army for years and had access to highly classified material, including on German missions in Afghanistan.