Istanbul Police has asked the 27th penal court of peace for permission of unlimited police check on individuals, documents and all kinds of vehicles for a month, until 20th of March, which is similar to the recently permitted application in Ankara centrum that is named as Martial Law. According to the permission, police is authorized to stop anyone and check their personal belongings and all kinds of documents as well as search their vehicles. Currently it is found out that this is the only declaration of Martial Law in Istanbul but it is not certain whether other districts are under this treatment either, according to OdaTV.
The timing of the declaration of Martial Law is “significant” as the government would put it. There will be local elections on 30th of March and this kind of an application might be aiming at silencing any uprising opposition voices or critical individuals. It is also a pure violation of individuals’ basic rights and liberties in many aspects, first of all being their privacy.
The resentful feelings after this application will surely discourage more people to vote for the governing AKP, and the local elections will have the effect of “vote of confidence” on AKP. Prime Minister Erdoğan declared that although in last elections AKP received 50% of the votes, in these elections he will consider 38.8% as success; however police’s treatment of peaceful protests and individuals on streets might cost him more votes.
On the other hand there are various controversial laws being passed in parliament in a hurry to cover up for all the allegations regarding the corruption of government ministers and there are protests on a weekly basis in Taksim square.