World Bulletin / News Desk
The Turkish parliament’s general assembly accepted Wednesday the first part of the highly-debated domestic security bill, which, if passed, would give enhanced powers to police.
A tense atmosphere surrounded the discussions over the bill in the past two weeks, as parliament saw two brawls between MPs, which left several injured.
According to the bill, police will be able to use weapons against those who attack schools, public buildings and places of worship with Molotov bombs, explosives, flammable, suffocating and other weapons.
In meetings or demonstrations, protesters are not allowed to carry “fireworks, Molotovs, iron balls and straps.”
Those who cover their faces partly or entirely during demonstrations that turn into a propaganda march for a terrorist organization will be sentenced to up to five years in prison, the bill says.
The government sees the measures as compliant with EU norms, while opposition parties reject it outright, saying it would erode freedoms and rights in the country.
Opposition parties pledged to not allow the bill to pass, but they can only delay it until March, when parliament goes on break ahead of the June 7 general elections.
The security bill was devised following extensive rioting in Turkey last autumn.
Protests in Turkey's southeastern provinces in October 2014, sparked because of claims the Turkish government was allegedly not doing enough to save the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani from Daesh (the Arabic acronym for ISIL), left 40 people dead.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended the security bill on Sunday, saying opposing it would be similar to criticizing the fight against terrorism.
Meanwhile, Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday that the Turkish parliament will approve the bill under any circumstances.
"The new security bill will be approved by the Turkish parliament to protect freedom and provide security," Davutoglu said.
The general assembly of the Turkish parliament will resume voting on other parts of the bill on Wednesday afternoon.
Last Mod: 25 Şubat 2015, 15:34