No changes necessary in 'vigilante decree' - Turkish PM

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that Sunday’s state of emergency decree would remain in its present form, with no clarification added to ensure that the courts do not consider it binding on events following the July 15, 2016 coup, pro-government TV channel TGRT said on Wednesday.

The prime minister’s comments on Tuesday arrive following backlash regarding the new decree numbered 696, which appears to give a carte blanche to anti-terrorist vigilantism.

“Millions went out on the streets on the night of July 15 in the name of preventing the coup,” he said. “Protecting these people is our binding duty.”

Yıldırım hinted that he agreed with the interpretation of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Mahir Ünal, who had said that clause 121 of decree 696 would only cover crimes committed in the name of combatting terror until July 16; however, he did not say so directly.

“There will be no correction; there is no problem in the language, etc.,” Yıldırım said.

“Why has something that is unproblematic been brought onto the agenda? It is impossible to understand this.”

Meanwhile, former Justice and Development Party (AKP) founder, prime minister and president, Abdullah Gül, criticised the bill for its “ambiguity,” calling for clarification to be brought to the clause in order to stop people taking the law into their own hands with the belief that they have impunity.

“Those who are expressing these views – especially the main opposition party – are against the coup, aren’t they?” Yıldırım asked. “Coming out against this measure means asking our citizens ‘why did you come out against the coup?’”

The victims of the coup are “turning in their graves”, Yıldırım added.


Clause 37 (1) of law 6755 was edited by clause 121 of decree 696 to read as follows:

No legal, administrative, financial or punitive responsibilities may arise as the result of their decisions, duties and actions for those people who took decisions in the context of actions to suppress the 15/7/2016 coup attempt and terrorist actions or actions with the property of being their continuation, who fulfilled these decisions or precautions and who took on duties in the context of any kind of legal or administrative measures, or those people who took decisions and took on duties in the context of decrees with the force of law published during the period of the state of emergency.