Turkish parliament adopts law regulating non-governmental organizations


The Turkish Parliament recent legislation aimed at controlling terror funding




The new legislation entitled the “Law on Preventing the Financing of the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction,” - drafted by President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party, which holds a parliamentary majority - includes controversial amendments to existing law on aid collection. These amendments allow the government and the Interior Minister to block the websites of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and halt their operations without a hearing under a measure to prevent terrorism financing and money laundering

Under the law, foundations will be inspected annually by civil servants, and international organizations will also be included and penalized accordingly.

Earlier this week, seven civil society organizations including Human Rights Association and Amnesty, in a joint statement, criticized the amendments and claimed that the law violates the presumption of innocence and punishes those whose trials are not finalized.

 The groups warned that:

“human rights associations, associations and foundations operating in the field of women’s rights, refugee rights, children’s rights, and LGBTI+ rights, various legal associations, associations engaged in social struggle, associations that use funding sources for social assistance, citizen associations, all of the sports clubs, associations and foundations of different faith groups will face the risk of being closed with a single signature.”

Human rights groups view the amendments as the latest blow in a continuing attack against hundreds of thousands of people under a crackdown following a failed coup in 2016. In July 2020, a Turkish court convicted a former chair of Amnesty International, among others, on terrorism charges.


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