Which procedures will follow the declaration of a State of Emergency?
A State of Emergency (SOE) has been declared over the provinces of Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Sanliurfa, Malatya, Kilis, Gaziantep, Osmaniye and Adana, which were hard hit by the earthquakes.
According to Anadolu Agency, President Erdogan said, “We have decided to declare a State of Emergency based on the powers given to us by the 119th Article of the Constitution. We will complete the Presidential and Parliamentary procedures of the State of Emergency which will last three months regarding the earthquake experienced in ten of our provinces.”
States of Emergency are typically declared under conditions of natural disasters, pandemics, economic instability, or other sever events that call for the State to be empowered to act in extraordinary capacities, implementing policies that otherwise might not be possible. During a State of Emergency, even some fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens may be restricted.
Throughout the duration of a State of Emergency, the President holds the right to issue decree-laws that are not bound to the provisions of the 91st Article of the Constitution.
PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE FOR STATES OF EMERGENCY
As per the State of Emergency Law numbered 2935, the decision to enact the SOE must be published in the Official Gazette and then submitted to Parliament for approval.
After being presented with the justifications for the declaration of a SOE, in addition to details regarding its duration and region, the Parliament may alter its length, extend it for a period of four months each time, or it may lift it entirely.
WHAT WILL BE DONE DURING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY
As the SOE is being declared on the basis of a natural disaster, Birgun Newspaper reports that “money and all kinds of movable and immovable properties and works that are needed for the rescue of the disaster victims and the compensation of damage” will immediately be provided, primarily using public resources.”
In addition, in the ten provinces under the State of Emergency, “Public institutions and organizations as well as legal and real persons … will be obliged to give land, land, building, facility, vehicle, equipment, food, medicine and medical equipment, clothing and other items that will be requested from them.”
If the need cannot be met by the existing resources in those provinces, the government will make requests from the nearest regions with obligations that they provide the necessary materials.
WHICH RIGHTS CAN BE LIMITED AS PART OF THE STATE OF EMERGENCY
Decree-laws passed during a State of Emergency potentially restrict citizens’ ability to exercise some of their fundamental rights, including, but not limited to the freedom of movement, freedom of the press, or freedom of association.
Some of the laws that may be implemented as part of the SOE are as follows:
- Limiting or prohibiting going outside,
- Prohibiting the navigation of vehicles or the movement and gathering of persons in certain places or at certain hours,
- Searching a person’s clothes, vehicles, and belongings and confiscating any criminal goods and evidence to be found,
- Imposing an obligation to carry identification documents for the residents of the region where the state of emergency has been declared and for those who will enter this region from outside,
- Prohibiting or allow based on a permit system the printing, duplicating, publishing, and distributing newspapers, magazines, brochures, books, leaflets and wall posters, and the introduction of those printed or reproduced outside the state of emergency region; seizing books, magazines, newspapers, brochures, posters, and similar printed matter that are prohibited from being published or published,
- Regulating, or if necessary, recording or prohibiting speech, writing, picture, film, record, audio, and video tapes and all kinds of sound-based broadcasts,
- Requesting that delicate public or private institutions and banks take special protection measures to ensure their own internal security, or requesting that these be increased,
- Regulating all kinds of stage acts and films shown, stopping or banning them when necessary,
- Prohibiting the transportation or transportation of all kinds of weapons and bullets, even if they are licensed,
- Authorizing based on permits or prohibiting the possession, preparation, production, or transportation of all kinds of ammunition, bombs, destructive materials, explosive materials, radioactive substances or incinerators, corrosives, harmful drugs, or all kinds of other poisons and suffocating gases or similar substances, and requesting that the devices, tools, or instruments used for their preparation or production are relinquished or are collected,
- Prohibiting the entry of persons and communities who give the impression that they may disrupt public order or public trust, removing them from the area, or prohibiting them from entering or settling in certain places within the area,
- Regulating, restricting, or prohibiting entry and exit to facilities or establishments within the area of which it is deemed necessary to establish their security,
- Prohibiting, postponing, or authorizing based on permits the meetings and demonstration marches to be held in closed and open places, or determining, specifying, and allocating the place and time where meetings and demonstration marches will be held; watching, surveilling, or ending, if necessary, all kinds of meetings that were allowed based on a permit,
- In cases other than the termination of employee’s service contract due to the employee's will, situations that do not comply with the rules of morality and goodwill, health reasons, normal retirement, or the expiration of a predetermined period, leave will be provided of the termination decision will be postponed instead, as long as it does not exceed a period of three months and taking into account the situation of the employer,
- Imposing a pause, not to exceed three months, on association activities based on decisions made separately for each case.