Turkey's main opposition to challenge new police powers in top court

The Turkish government earlier this month pushed through legislation lowering the threshold of evidence required for police searches of people or premises to "reasonable suspicion.".

Turkey's main opposition to challenge new police powers in top court

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkey's main opposition party said on Tuesday will launch a legal challenge against a law expanding police search powers, saying it violates the rights of individuals.

A spokesman for the Republican People's Party (CHP), Turkey's leading secularist opposition, told reporters the legislation treats all Turks as suspects.

The Turkish government earlier this month pushed through legislation lowering the threshold of evidence required for police searches of people or premises to "reasonable suspicion.".

"We will be taking to the constitutional court this legislation, which makes everyone in society a reasonable suspect and puts them in a weak position in front of the judge and prosecutor," CHP spokesman Akif Hamzacebi told reporters.

"This is a very dangerous regulation. As long as this authority is there, anyone can be the subject of an investigation on the grounds that they have committed a crime against the constitutional order," Hamzacebi said.

The new law came into force last Friday. The government has said the changes were made to ease police investigations after violent protests within Turkey's pro-PKK Kurds in October left scores dead.

The bill also sees two top courts -- the Court of Appeals and the Council of State -- restructured, and curbs the power of the top appeals court.

The legislation is being seen as part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's battle against US based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose supporters have historically been influential within the police and judiciary.

Erdogan said on Monday that the judiciary was not yet "cleansed" of Gulen's supporters, despite hundreds of judges and prosecutors being removed from their posts in the last year.

The president accuses Gulen of engineering a graft probe against the government in an attempt to undermine and topple him, a charge the cleric denies.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Aralık 2014, 15:15
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