Martial law and state of emergency in Turkey

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Since 1940 Turkey has frequently been under extraordinary rule, either the whole of the country or specific provinces. According to Articles 119-122 of the 1982 Constitution the four types of extraordinary rule are martial law (sıkıyönetim), state of emergency (olağanüstü hal, OHAL), mobilization (seferberlik) and situation of war (savaş hali).

History[edit]

On 27 December 2001 constitutional law professor Dr. Zafer Üskül presented some details in the daily Radikal.[1] The first law passed in 1940 was called law on extraordinary administration (İdare-i Örfiye Kanunu). It was replaced in 1971 by Martial Law.[2] The first law on state of emergency, mobilization and war was passed under military rule in 1983.[1][3]

Legal background[edit]

State of Emergency[edit]

Articles 119 and 120 of the 1982 Constitution state on the reasons for the announcement of a state of emergency:

ARTICLE 119. In the event of natural disaster, dangerous epidemic diseases or a serious economic crisis, the Council of Ministers... may declare a state of emergency in one or more regions or throughout the country for a period not exceeding six months.

ARTICLE 120. In the event of serious indications of widespread acts of violence aimed at the destruction of the free democratic order established by the Constitution or of fundamental rights and freedoms, or serious deterioration of public order because of acts of violence, the Council of Ministers, after consultation with the National Security Council, may declare a state of emergency in one or more regions or throughout the country for a period not exceeding six months.

Martial law[edit]

Article 122 of the 1982 Constitution provides:

ARTICLE 122. The Council of Ministers, under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic, after consultation with the National Security Council, may declare martial law in one or more regions or throughout the country for a period not exceeding six months, in the event of widespread acts of violence which are more dangerous than the cases necessitating a state of emergency and which are aimed at the destruction of the free democratic order or the fundamental rights and freedoms embodied in the Constitution; or in the event of war, the emergence of a situation necessitating war, an uprising, or the spread of violent and strong rebellious actions against the motherland and the Republic, or widespread acts of violence of either internal or external origin threatening the indivisibility of the country and the nation...

Extension of the period of martial law for a maximum of four months each time, shall require a decision by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. In the event of state of war, the limit of four months does not apply.

In the event of martial law, mobilization and state of war, the provisions to be applied and conduct of affairs, relations with the administration, the manner in which freedoms are to be restricted or suspended and the obligations to be imposed on citizens in a state of war or in the event of emergence of a situation necessitating war, shall be regulated by law.[4]

Imposition of martial law[edit]

At the end of 2001 law professor Dr. Zafer Üskül stated that 40 of its 78 years the Republic of Turkey had been under extraordinary rule.[1] In December 1978 martial law was imposed in 13 provinces in response to violent incidents in Kahramanmaraş. During the nine months after the Kahramanmaraş riots the government extended martial law to cover 20 provinces.[5] When the military seized power on 12 September 1980 the five generals of the General Staff announced martial law in all of the existing 67 provinces of Turkey. From December 1983 military rule was gradually withdrawn. It was finally lifted throughout Turkey in July 1987.[5]

On 1 July 1982 five States (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France and the Netherlands) filed an application against Turkey with the European Commission of Human Rights. In December 1985 a friendly settlement was reached that demanded that Turkey should lift martial law within 18 months. Turkey did as requested, only to replace martial law by emergency legislation.[6]

State of Emergency[edit]

Main article: OHAL

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c http://www.radikal.com.tr/haber.php?haberno=24855 Article accessed on 4 September 2009
  2. ^ See the text of Law 1402 (Turkish); accessed on 4 September 2009
  3. ^ The complete text in Turkish of Olağanüstü hal kanunu, law 2935 of 25 October 1983, promulgated in the Official Gazette on 27 October 1983; accessed on 4 September 2009
  4. ^ The translation was found at http://www.hri.org/docs/turkey/ on 4 September 2009
  5. ^ a b Report of Amnesty International (AI Index: EUR/44/65/88 - November 1988) Human rights denied; Introduction in plain text; accessed on 4 September 2009
  6. ^ German source: hearing in parliament (Bundestag) on 11 and 12 May 1993 Expert Helmut Oberdiek on Human Rights in Germany's internal and foreign affairs; accessed on 4 September 2009