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Turkish parliament passes new anti-terror legislation

[JURIST] The Turkish Grand National Assembly [official website, in Turkish; Wikipedia backgrounder] broadened the country's anti-terror laws Thursday by adopting new legislation that delays a suspect's guaranteed access to a lawyer for the first 24 hours of detention and expands the definition of offenses classified as terrorism. New acts classified as terrorism include human trafficking, drug smuggling, obstruction of education, influencing tenders, prostitution, pollution of the environment and credit card forgery. The Turkish government proposed the new law [New Anatolian op-ed] to fight resurgent Kurdish separatists like the Kurdistan Worker's Party [FAS backgrounder] that have increased attacks in the last two years.

The European Union [official website] has expressed concern over the new anti-terror measures, while the Turkish Press Council [advocacy website] warned that the new measures might hinder editorial independence and lead to censorship after the Turkish Parliament Justice Subcommittee adopted the measure last week [MSNBC report]. Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, however, denies that the new measure will restrict freedom of the press or freedom of expression. In May, the Istanbul Bar Association [official website, in Turkish] urged the government to withdraw the proposed law [JURIST report], warning that the bill could harm freedom. Reuters has more. From Turkey, the Zaman Daily News has local coverage.

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