Saturday, June 03, 2006

TERRORIST LAWS IN THE TC

“If you listen to the politicians, you might think we are all terrorists” ~ Loesje.


There has been some noise on the proposed new terrorist law, something we haven't heard too much about since the attack on the Council of State sidetracked everyone.

Earlier in the week, the argument continued over whether or not Article 6 of the proposed anti-terror law would afford Ocalan a pardon, with subsequent release. Article 6 is supposed to permit leaders and members of "terrorist" groups to take advantage of a penitence law, which would extend amnesty to those who surrender to the state and cooperate with it against other "terrorists." The other 17 articles of the law had cleared debate within the all-AK parliamentary commission, but when it came to Article 6, the commission wanted to have the cake and eat it too, but no one is really certain yet, whether or not Article 6 would apply to Ocalan.

On Friday, the AK decided to postpone any decision on the problematic article, according to The New Anatolian. Of course, the military was very helpful in getting AK to make the postponement, by stating in an EU harmonization meeting "that the article in question should be taken out of the bill." Naturally, the AK complied with the ruling party's (the pashas') wishes.

As for the other articles in the proposed anti-terror law, an attack against the president of the TC was included as a terror crime under Article 3, as described in The New Anatolian:


"Intentional killing by use of force, intentional injury, torture, blackmail, the use of force, premeditated looting, harming property, setting up a gang to commit crime and an attack against the president other than assassination attempts."



I wonder, how many ordinary murders can be classified as "intentional killing by use of force?" To how many ordinary crimes can intentional injury, the use of force, or harming property classifications be applied?

On the other hand, torture is usually a specialty of the state, as is setting up a gang to commit crime--what about Buyukanit?--and the state has intentionally killed almost 40,000 Kurds by use of force, so I wonder if the state is going to take its own medicine when it finally holds a vote on this law. Harming property? Will that apply to those security forces who forced millions of Kurds from their villages and then destroyed them? Or will it apply for the security forces who burned Zeliha Bark's home four times?

As for "an attack against the president other than assassination attempts," it sounds like you will become a "terrorist" if you throw rotten tomatoes at the guy. I mean, that is an attack, right? And tomatoes are not generally employed in successful assassination attempts.

Also:


Crimes covered under Article 315 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) stipulating that providing weapons to gangs and groups is illegal, will now be included as terror crimes.



Again, what about Buyukanit? Or what about Tansu Ciller, or a host of government others, for that matter?

In keeping with the finest Kemalist tradition, the criminalization of free speech will continue under the proposed anti-terror law:


The AK Party members also revised Article 4 of the bill in an attempt to limit publications that spread terrorist propaganda in newspapers and magazines. Members changed the term "periodicals" to "publications." Therefore, all written and visual media, including TV broadcasts and websites as well as newspapers and magazines publications, are covered under the article.


TV broadcasts and the internet are both victims of free expression violations now, so how long will it be before web hosting services are harassed over Kurdish websites, just as the Danish government has been harassed over Roj TV?

In other legal news, the AK's opposition, the CHP, is going to be filing a complaint against Erdogan for attempting to undermine the judiciary over the Council of State attack, according to TDN:


Speaking at a parliamentary group meeting, Anadol [CHP parliamentary group deputy leader] called on Erdoğan and the government to stop interfering, claiming the public was faced with a disinformation campaign.

The government's failed efforts to persuade the public that the attack on the Council of State, which resulted in the murder of one judge and the wounding of four others, was really an indirect attack on the ruling government caused the government to initiate a disinformation campaign, alleged Anadol. This was a huge political mistake. It meant the executive branch has undermined the judiciary process. The government tried to blame the deep state' and the military.

The trial of the suspects would soon start, but the government still had not stopped interfering with the investigation, said Anadol. He [the prime minister] is committing a crime. Something must be done against this prime minister who disrespects the law and orders judges and prosecutors around.



This complaint would fall under Article 288 of the new Turkish Penal Code (TCK), the same article used against Hrant Dink and three of his fellow journalists from the Agos newspaper. Their hearing has been adjourned until July 4. Another victim of Article 288 is Professor Baskin Oran, for a report he made on the status of minorities in Turkey. Professor Ibrahim Kaboglu, who headed the Prime Ministry's Human Rights Advisory Board, has been charged along with Professor Oran. Professor Oran now believes that lawyers will also begin to be charged under the same TCK article.

In the case of Erdogan, the question arises: If he is charged under Article 288, will a charge under Article 216 follow? Article 216 is the article that makes the very vague, "incitement of public hatred and enmity," a crime, and I'm certain that an enterprising prosecutor will be able to interpret Article 216 in such a way that it sticks to Erdogan. Couldn't Article 301 also be applied? There must be some way, in all the political maneuvering and manufacturing in the wake of the Council of State attack, that Erdogan has insulted "Turkishness" through all this.

Of course, the ball is now in the prosecutor's court, according to Kemal Anadol:


When asked if they would really file a complaint against the prime minister, Anadol said: That's not necessary. If my words are reported in the papers, prosecutors should take note of our complaint and file charges.



Since the papers, in this case TDN, have reported Anadol's words, can't we say that the papers are interfering with the judiciary? Isn't Anadol himself interfering with the judiciary?

Anybody check items 6 and 12 on our list of characteristics of fascist states?



BY THE WAY . . . I'd like to direct your attention to a new link on your right. It's the Boycott Turkey link. Thanks to my heval, Yerevan, for that.

3 comments:

Vladimir said...

You forgot Bianet's recent article "Ataturk laws".

This is also an interesting read:
http://www.merip.org/mero/mero060306.html

Regards,

Vlad

Mizgîn said...

Oh, you mean the blasphemy laws, Vladimir? :) I had seen it, but didn't include it.

The MERIP article is actually pretty good.

Vladimir said...

You also like this heval:

http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2006/6/turkeykurdistan719.htm