Bar organisations say state of emergency decrees "unconstitutional"

The latest state of emergency decrees passed on Sunday continue to receive a backlash from an array of individuals and organizations concerned about their repercussions, Gazete Duvar said. 

Sunday’s regulations published in the Official Gazette are a continuation of a steady stream of decrees that have been passed since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Turkey’s bar associations have spoken up about the potential consequences of decrees decrees no. 695 and no. 696, which grant legal immunity to civilians who took to the streets during the coup attempt or "assisted with suppressing terror" and implement uniforms for prisoners.

The bar associations in the provinces of Adıyaman, Ağrı, Batman, Bingöl, Diyarbakır, Dersim, Hakkari, Kars–Ardahan, Muş, Şanlıurfa, Şırnak and Van issued a joint statement on decree No. 696, voicing their concerns about unconstitutional practices.

In their statement, the associations said:

“It is evident that the (prison) uniform practice is contrary to human honour, and the ban against the undignified treatment of the detained and arrested will be violated."

The joint statement went on to note that the granting of legal immunity to those who acted "in suppressing the July 15th coup attempt" and “the actions that were extensions of it" was also unconstitutional. 

The statement underpinned that the concerned decree bears the quality of a legal pardon - and the authority for such a decision lies in a 'three fourth majority' in parliament. As such, the statement underlined that the decree contains violations of clauses 2, 10, 13, 15, 17, 36, 38 and  87 of the Turkish constitution.

"With this regulation the principle of the rule of law has received a heavy blow," the statement stressed.

The statement concluded by asking for the 17-month state of emergency rule to end and for Turkey to return to norm of ordinary law, thereby granting individuals the right to fair trial and defence. 


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