ANKARA: The Turkish Parliament on Wednesday approved a new “anti-terror” law that strengthens the authorities’ powers in detaining suspects and imposing public order after a two-year state of emergency ended last week, state news agency Anadolu reported.
The new legislation allows authorities to control who can enter and exit an area for 15 days for reasons of security, while suspects can be held without charge for 48 hours or up to four days if there are multiple offenses. This period can be extended on two occasions under special circumstances.
The state of emergency, declared after the failed 2016 putsch, expired on July 18 but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s opponents say the new executive presidency and the latest security measures give him sweeping powers to stifle dissent.
Under the presidential system, Erdogan is able to issue decrees on executive matters and appoint and remove senior civil servants, including some judges and prosecutors.
Some 160,000 people have been detained under emergency rule and nearly the same number of state employees have been dismissed, the UN human rights office said in March. Of those detained, about 77,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail during trial, the interior minister said in April.
Critics of Erdogan accuse him of using the failed putsch as a pretext to quash dissent.
Turkey says the measures are necessary to combat threats to national security.
Turkey’s Interior Ministry revoked the cancellation of 155,350 passports following the end of two-year-old state of emergency, the ministry said on Wednesday.
The passports were reinstated to the spouses of people who had been deemed to be legally suspicious as part of the crackdown following the attempted coup in July 2016.