Dec 26 2017

Former President Gül calls for clarification of Turkey ‘vigilante impunity’

Turkey’s former President Abdullah Gül has called on the Turkish government to “review” a recent decree that appears to give immunity to anti-terror vigilantes.

Gül on Monday emphasised that he believed the decree to have been issued with the good intention of protecting those who came out against the July 15, 2016 coup attempt; however, said that the wording of the concerned Decree no. 696 was unclear – a likely reference to an ongoing argument about whether the regulation applies to those fighting terror after the attempt July 15, 2016  coup attempt ended the following morning.

“The ambiguity inconsistent with legal language in the writing of decree numbered 696 … is worrying from the perspective of the rule of law,” Gül tweeted.

“I hope that it will be reviewed in order not to provide the opportunity for events and developments that would sadden us all in the future.”

Critics of the decree, as well as some government figures, have said that the wording would allow for the exoneration of citizens taking the law into their own hands against those perceived as terrorists.

However, governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Mahir Ünal has denied that the ambiguous clause would apply to any actions taken after July 16, 2016.