“Ordinary” Turkey worse than under state of emergency

Under a bill submitted to parliament, the state of emergency of two years’ duration is giving way to an extraordinary period of a further three years. Expulsions from public service will be at the initiative of the relevant minister or institution head. Here are the highlights from fresh legislation conceived for the non-state of emergency period that outdoes the state of emergency.

Yayınlanma: 18.07.2018 - 14:29
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The state of emergency implementation proclaimed following the coup attempt ends today.
The new laws that the palace has introduced in view of the lifting of the state of emergency,
however, contain measures that are even more stringent than state of emergency decrees with
the force of law. Under the bill submitted to parliament, nobody’s affairs are under legal
guarantee any longer. Ministers and provincial governors are being given powers of
dismissal. The entire family of a person into whom an investigation is launched can be
monitored and their passports can be cancelled.

The two-year state of emergency period, not having been extended for a further term, ends today. The bill submitted to parliament the day before yesterday contains the following measures:The two-year state of emergency period, not having been extended for a further term, ends today. The bill submitted to parliament the day before yesterday contains the following measures:

Fresh lease of life for decrees with the force of law

It is notable that some of the measures in the bill are being accomplished by appending articles to state of emergency decrees with the force of law. Measures have even been added to decrees ranging from the first decrees with the force of law issued over the two-year period to the decree with the force of law establishing the State of Emergency Procedures Examination Commission that was conceived of for objections. As such, the regime that was restricted to the state of emergency period and created under decrees with the force of law that “evaded” legal oversight with the Constitutional Court looking the other way is automatically gaining a further lease of life.

Readmission for all under decree principles

The principle of appointment to their “former staff level and position” will be adopted under the new measures for people who have been expelled from public service but whose readmission has been decided on. Consequently, the reappointment principle adopted for those dismissed under decrees with the force of law and readmitted under decrees with the force of law will also be applied to those readmitted under commission resolutions. However, according to the bill, dismissed academics cannot avail themselves of this possibility. The Council of Higher Education will decide which university academics who cannot be appointed to the university they have been expelled from will be appointed to.

Assignment to passive duties even if military or police staff are exonerated

The bill sets up a controversial “banishment system” that was not applied to military and police staff over the two-year state of emergency period. Accordingly, even if the readmission of expelled military or police staff members is ordered by the courts or State of Emergency Commission, this may fall foul of the Ministry of National Defence’s or the Ministry of the Interior’s approval. If approval is not forthcoming, these people can be employed at “research centres” to be opened under the aegis of the two ministries.

Rank stripping without awaiting the courts

The way has been opened for staff who have been expelled from the military to be automatically stripped of their ranks without the need for any court decision or additional administrative procedure.

Board’s proposal and minister’s approval for civil service expulsions

With regard to the expulsion of all staff subject to the Civil Servants Law including workers at public bodies and entities, an “expellees board” can be set up with the approval of the minister to whom they report. If the board so proposes, the civil servant or worker can be expelled with the minister’s approval. If a public body or entity has not been affiliated to a ministry, all expulsions will be possible at the behest of the unit supervisor with the approval of the supervisor with appointment authorisation.

Expulsion of military and police staff with ministerial approval

Supervisors starting from the minister can take decisions to expel public staff “for a three- year period.” The approval of the National Defence Minister may suffice for the expulsion of military staff. Staff of the General Command of the Gendarmerie, Coast Guard Command and General Directorate of Security can be expelled with the approval of the Interior Minister.

Council of Higher Education Chair empowered to propose expulsion

As to the expulsion of academics, this will be possible for a three-year period at the proposal of Council of Higher Education Chair and with the approval of the Council of Higher Education General Assembly. In the case of administrative staff at universities, the university’s administration board can resolve for their expulsion at the rector’s proposal.

Provincial governors also empowered to expel

For the expulsion of local authority staff, the proposal of a board set up by the provincial governor and the Interior Minister’s approval is deemed sufficient.

Different arrangement for the judiciary

As opposed to other public servants, a different arrangement is envisaged, again for a period of three years, for the expulsion of senior court members and judges and prosecutors. The Plenary Session of the Constitutional Court may resolve to expel a member by simple majority. The First Presidency Board of the Court of Cassation may resolve to expel Court of Cassation chamber presiding and member judges. Council of State presiding and member judges can be expelled under a Council of State Presidency Board resolution. Expulsion resolutions can be passed by the Board of Judges and Prosecutors regarding judges and prosecutors. The firearms licences and passports of those who are dismissed will be cancelled.

Recourse to the commission blocked

Following the ending of the state of emergency regime, expellees under administrative resolutions may object within a three-year period. They may be readmitted to their posts following examination. Under such circumstances, those who are expelled in the new period will be blocked from making recourse to the State of Emergency Commission, which still continues to function. Those so expelled while in a managerial position will be unable to become managers again even if readmitted.

Continuation of passport restrictions

The Interior Minister’s power to cancel passports, to which frequent application was made in the state of emergency period, will continue for a three-year period. The passports of people who have been expelled with the administration’s approval and those undergoing prosecution or investigation procedures for coup and terrorism crimes will be cancelled. The passports of the spouses of such people can also be cancelled.

Call tracking records can be gathered

Authorities of all kinds that conduct administrative and judicial procedures will, also for a three-year period, be able to gather all manner of information and documents regarding both themselves and their spouses and children including call tracking records of people undergoing judicial proceedings for coup and terrorism crimes.

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