Venice Commission warns Turkey counterterrorism law is ‘incompatible’ with international law

An international organisation warned that Turkey’s counterterrorism law against terrorist financing was not compatible for international law and ignored civil society’s concerns, Bianet English reported on Wednesday. 

The Venice Commission, an advisory body of the Council of Europe composed of independent experts in the field of constitutional law, released its adopted opinions from their July 2-3 plenary session where it raised concerns about Turkey’s recently adopted Law No. 7262 on the Prevention of Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

While acknowledging Turkey’s “difficult security situation" and "aspiration" to introduce effective counterterrorism measures, the Commission raised red flags over its impact on a number of human rights areas. 

In particular, the Commission said that the law was adopted in a rushed manner without any consultation with external stakeholders that it finds problematic within a democracy. On another aspect that allows the government to dissolve an association or place trustees in place of board members it opposes at nonprofit organisations, it was found that the measures were indiscriminate, ambiguous and disproportionate in their impact. 

Adopted in December 2020, Law No. 7262 has been widely criticised for the powers it would provide Turkish authorities that further its democratic backsliding. International human rights groups that include Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch condemned the bill while local civil society organisations agree, adding that the measure is aimed less at terrorists and more at political opponents of Turkey’s ruling government.
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