Recently Turkish Parliament (Grand National Assembly of Turkey) passed the bill “Preventing Financing of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction”. The new bill would increase the monitoring of civil society groups in the country.

 The Bill

  • The bill was passed following the 2019 report on Turkey prepared by the Intergovernmental body FATF. The Financial Action Task Force fights money laundering and terror financing.
  • It has made changes to 7 laws on Law of Associations of Turkey. It consists of 43 articles and is meant to keep Turkey from being blacklisted by FATF, a Paris-based watchdog of terror financing.
  • It provides powers to the Turkish Government to appoint trustees to NGOs, to seize their assets, to suspend their activities and monitor their sources of funding.
  • The bill allows the interior ministries to replace members of associations if they are being investigated on terrorism charges. This will now empower the interior ministries to restrict activities of any organization and individuals in Turkey.
  • The new law is applicable to the international civil society groups operating in Turkey as well.

Backdrop

The Turkish Government has been targeting several journalists, academicians, bureaucrats and judges after a failed coup in the year 2016. In 2020, the Turkish prosecutors ordered arrests of more than 700 military and justice ministry personnel. They were accused that they were involved in 2016 coup attempt to overthrow Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Government. The Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has been in power over a decade now. He is an Islamist and conservative who has brought in series of reforms in Turkish society.

Terrorism in Turkey

The Kurdish-Turkish conflicts, involvement in Syrian Civil war 2011 are the main sources of terrorist incidents in the country. Turkey was ranked 18th in the Global Terrorism Index. The Global Terrorism Index is prepared by Institute for Economics and Peace.

India ranked 8th in the Global Terrorism Index.

Turkey passes New bill to monitor civil society groups Turkey passes New bill to monitor civil society groups