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    Introducing the new Terrorism Act

    Hürriyet Haber
    10 Eylül 2005 - 13:26Son Güncelleme : 10 Eylül 2005 - 13:26

    Hürriyet can now exclusively reveal details into the new Terrorism Act (TMY) – which has kept the government busy for months now. According to the act, every action which aims at “disturbing and upsetting constitutional, political, legal, economic and social structure” will be consider as an “act of terrorism”. The new act – which consists of 19 articles – has been approved by the commission with a majority of votes.

    While redefining terrorism, the act also introduces heavy punishment for leaders of terrorist groups, up to 10 years. In the future, people like Abdullah Öcalan will also face punishment on all charges committed by the group itself.

    Prosecutors are also granted the right to block flow of information to the suspect’s family for 12 hours, it has emerged. In the meantime, lawyers will only be able to see suspects for 24 hours in total. Prosecutors will also have the last say on which documents the lawyer can duplicate.

    Legal, administrative, military and police forces who partake in unfolding a crime and thus becoming a target for terrorist groups will benefit from witness protection provisions. Their names will be changed where necessary, and they will be afforded plastic surgery in extreme cases.

    The new act also makes it possible to punish crimes committed abroad here in Turkish jurisdiction. Ministry of Justice will be instrumental in starting interrogations on such crimes.

    Meanwhile, the new act has drawn criticism form some quarters, who claim that it is a worse interpretation of Turkey’s notoriously heavy-handed provisions which were abandoned years ago. “The new text does not include ‘violence’ and ‘coercion’ while describing terrorism – if the new act is passed from the parliament as is, expression of thought, acts which do not include violence and coercion will be regarded as acts of terrorism.”

    “141, 142 and 163 (notorious articles in the previous Criminal Act) are coming back with a vengeance,” said one jurist.
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