Venice Commission Published its Opinion on the Legal Framework Governing Curfews in Turkey


EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR DEMOCRACY THROUGH LAW (VENICE COMMISSION) published its opinion on the legal framework governing curfews in Turkey since August 2015 and declared it as:

“96. Despite the seriousness of the situation they were facing, the Turkish authorities chose not to declare a state of emergency to engage in the security operations they considered necessary in the areas concerned, whereas these operations and the related measures (such as curfew) inevitably entail restrictions to rights and freedoms, which sometimes have extremely serious consequences.

97. The Venice Commission has taken note of the authorities’ choice, which they justify through their desire to protect rights and freedoms in all circumstances including in a context in which, as they themselves state, all the prerequisites to declare a state of emergency were met.

98. The Commission therefore notes that the curfews imposed since August 2015 have not been based on the constitutional and legislative framework which specifically governs the use of exceptional measures in Turkey, including curfew. To comply with this framework, any curfew measure should be associated with emergency rule, as provided for in Articles 119 to 122 of the Constitution. This would also be in keeping with the approach of the Commission, which has stressed in its work that de facto emergency powers should be avoided and it is better to declare them officially along with their accompanying lists of obligations and guarantees including the obligation to inform international organisations of any derogations from fundamental rights and the reasons for these, thus subjecting their application to the supervision of these organisations or to parliamentary debate and approval..”

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