Governor Bans Protests in Capital Ankara For A Month

There will be no public gathering, no permission to protest, not a march or a rally for a month in Turkey’s capital.

Citing national security and threat of terrorism, office of Ankara Governor announced on Tuesday that it banned all sorts of public activity regarding assembly and public gatherings for a month. The decision represents how public authorities extensively use measures during the emergency rule in what critics say to curb liberties and clamp down on the opposition. 

The right to assembly, a central pillar of any democracy, has been circumvented by the Turkish officials during the state of emergency which has been extended for another three months earlier this month. 

The decision came after a group of people protested constitutional reform debates in Parliament as the ruling party presses for an amendment to the constitution to push for a switch to an executive presidential system. 

The riot police broke the protest to disperse the small group. 

The government has been governing the country with the emergency rule since last summer. It depends on emergency decrees which have full force of law and grant enormous powers to the authorities at the expense of individual liberties. A side effect of the state of emergency is the arbitrary practices of governors and mayors at local level without direct instruction from the central government in Ankara. 

State of emergency is endowed with wanton use of arbitrary measures not only by authorities but also by some self-proclaimed citizens who sometimes take justice and order into their own hands.

Last week, an apartment manager literally declared the state of emergency in his apartment. Yetkin Guler, the apartment manager, called on his neighbors to remember that he is the person with only authority to hold a meeting at the building.