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AKP bill requiring security investigation for state employment rejected by opposition

Turkish Parliament

A view from the Turkish Parliament AFP

A 16-article bill proposed by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) which stipulates that applicants be required to undergo a security investigation and background check before they are employed by the state has been voted down by the opposition, local media reported on Wednesday.

The development was announced on social media by Murat Emir, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)’s Ankara deputy, who said lawmakers from the AKP and its far-right ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) were “shocked” by it.

“According to parliamentary bylaws, if a debate on the articles of a proposed bill is rejected [in parliament], it means the whole bill is voted down. Also, bills rejected in parliament cannot be submitted again for a year,” Emir tweeted.

The official social media account of parliament’s general assembly, which instantly posts the results of proposals voted in the legislature, didn’t share any tweets regarding the controversial bill, local media reports said.

The article in the bill on the requirements of security investigations and background checks for state employment was also included in one of the many controversial laws and decrees that the ruling AKP pressed ahead with in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The controversial article was in a decree-law that went into effect during a state of emergency declared by the government following the coup attempt and remained in force for two years, granting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP extraordinary powers.

The article, which was previously criticized for including the security investigation requirement that necessitates access to the applicant’s personal information and therefore violates privacy laws, was canceled by Turkey’s Constitutional Court in late 2019.

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