Turkey: Police Powers Package Undermines Democracy
In response to the Turkish parliament’s passage of the first 10 articles of a new legislative package that allows police to search and detain people for up to 48 hours without prior approval, reduces the threshold for use of firearms by police against protesters to a dangerous level, and gives provincial governors additional authority over police investigations, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The new legislation undermines the accountability and oversight of police and prosecutors as well as citizens' trust in these principles, which are at the core of democracy and rule of law, ” said Susan Corke, director of Eurasia programs. “The legislation will eviscerate critical checks on search and detention, while exacerbating the problem of politically-appointed governors overseeing police operations. Widening the scope of when police may use firearms against protesters is dangerous and out of step with UN guidelines on the use of force by law enforcement. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of Turkish democracy hangs in the balance with this law.”
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.