A new legislative proposal named, Preventing the Financing of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which includes 43 articles, was approved in the Justice Commission of the Turkish parliament. As the proposal is expected to be discussed in the General Assembly of the parliament in the coming days, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) have added an official annotation or comment onto the draft proposal.
Stating that the aim of the bill was to restrict democratic rights, HDP said, that the bill reflected the ruling governing party’s attitude. HDP stated in its official annotation to the bill that non governmental organisations, (NGOs) would be controlled by means of an annual audit by the Interior Ministry and that this form of control would turn into a means of state harrassment.
In addition, the HDP noted that the proposal would also allow different departments of the state including the police, the gendarmerie, government officials from different ministries to inspect NGOs. In the annotation, HDP states that the aim of the bill is to remove the power of civil society completely. HDP noted, “That is to say, the main aim of the bill is to make civil associations, foundations and non-governmental organisations powerless and is not about tackling funding of weapons of mass destruction. Because, although this legislative regulation, required for this by the United Nations, could be achieved by a few articles only, the ruling governing party shows its motives to reshape society by the inclusion of 43 articles.”
Right to organise will be blocked
HDP also noted that the proposed legislative regulation included unconstitutional aspects and blocked the right to organise that was guaranteed by the 33rd article of the constitution.
According to the legislative proposal, the Interior Ministry and governorships will have the authority to dismiss NGOs’ executives who were indicted due to ‘terror’ investigation, to suspend associations’ operations and if necessary to appoint trustees to the administrations.
The legislative proposal will also give president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the power to seize property which can be implemented without any court ruling. HDP stated that the proposed legislation was also against the presumption of innocence and also expressed that the regulation would also violate rights of possession, adding the proposal went against the principle of being a state run by law.
According to HDP’s annotation, the proposal will also violate the citizen’s right of privacy. It was also stated in the annotation that social solidarity was also being targeted.
Arrogance of Power
CHP also added an annotation on the proposal and stated that the ruling party’s prepared legislative proposals had an arrogance of power under the regime of one-man. CHP also stated that only 6 articles of the proposal were related to the name of the bill and that the other 37 were not relevant to it’s title.
Members of Van (Wan) Democracy Platform made a statement against the legislative proposal that will allow the state to appoint trustee to associations.
The statement was made in the Medical Chamber building and the Turkish Medical Chamber (TTB), The Confederation of Public Employees’ Trade Unions (KESK) Van Branch, Star Women’s Association, Van Prisoner and Convict Families Association (TUHAYDER) and Turkey Human Rights Foundation (TİHV) participated in the press statement.
Van-Hakkari (Colemerg) Medical Chamber chair Dr. Hüseyin Yaviç criticised the proposal and said that the proposal would allow arbitrary investigations about members of NGOs and associations.