The ‘Bill on Preventing the Spread and Financing of Weapons of Mass Destruction’ relating to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) in Turkey was passed by the Justice Commission on 19 December.
The bill was drafted by the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) opposed the bill, which also foresees the appointment of trustees to Non-Governmental Organisations. The bill also extends the authority of the Presidency and Interior Ministry and authorizes the Ministry of Interior to dismiss NGO heads who have a “terror” investigation launched against them.
Ahmet Çiçek, one of the directors of the Human Rights Association İzmir, evaluated the new bill on civil society. “Non-Governmental Organizations are not public institutions and they must be independent of state intervention”, he said. Organisations in Turkey have started a petition against the bill which allows the government to tighten its control over them.