March 30, 2015
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News & Analysis
Turkey Passes New Security Law

Turkey's government passed a new security law that centralizes and expands police powers with an online surveillance law.

The bill expands security forces' authority to fire live rounds on protesters if attacked by Molotov cocktails or other weapons, reported the Wall Street Journal. The new legislation also lets police search and detain people for up to 48 hours without judiciary authorization, allowing governors to bypass judges and prosecutors to order arrests. Protesters who cover their faces at violent protests will receive prison sentences of up to four years.

The online surveillance law will allow police to keep wiretapping or monitoring online activities of suspects without court orders for 48 hours.

The legislation has sparked fierce criticism from opposition parties who say the ruling AK Party is becoming more authoritarian. Members of Turkey's restive Kurdish minority say the law could be used to target them, said a Reuters report.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the bill upholds "universal democratic standards."

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