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Turkey: “Pre-emptive Martial Law” for six districts of Ankara

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan:

Turkish Police patch

Police forces in Turkey preemptively crack down on potential protest

A court order has ruled that the police forces do not need any court warrants to carry out a full check on individuals they might suspect. The permit is originally applicable only during declarations of martial law to sustain public peace. Police chief of Ankara and vice-mayor had asked for an all inclusive “pre-emptive” permit last month and it has now been granted by an Ankara court.

The stated reason for police’s request was “to ensure national security and public peace, protect general health and general understanding of morality, as well as protecting citizens rights and liberties, and to prevent crimes, circulation of weapons or explosives that are banned from possessing or using, and to detect weapons and explosives”.

The permit concerns over 3 million citizens residing in central Ankara, and gives police the power to check and control the people, their personal belongings, vehicles and other possessions. The vagueness of the permit raises a lot of questions, such as, if the people will be granted their regular rights, like keeping silent or consulting their lawyers.

While this application will surely remind one of the infamous military coup days, which the  Turkish people are familiar with, it brings up a new term like “police coup” as the police forces enjoy a status which is above-the-law. They now have unlimited authority to harass and provoke people arbitrarily on the street. In a country where police violence has been a bleeding wound, this new pre-emptive permit will bring further trouble to already vibrant agenda in the country.

With a little more than a month until local elections, corruption scandal occupying the daily agenda with all its weight and newly approved censorship and surveillance bill, the streets seem to be the place that will decide on the future of the country; so the state officials are taking precautions to prevent any possible reaction against repression of rights and misuse of public funds.

More stories by Gürkan Özturan @

More stories about Turkey @

Photo by Dave Conner released under a Creative Commons license.

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