Balancing human rights with anti-terrorism legislation: a comparative analysis of the police powers available of the Turkish National Police (TNP) and the police services of the UK

Aslantas, Alptekin (2011) Balancing human rights with anti-terrorism legislation: a comparative analysis of the police powers available of the Turkish National Police (TNP) and the police services of the UK. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Countering terrorism has been a top priority for most European countries following the catastrophic events of 9/11, especially after the 2003 Istanbul, 2004 Madrid and 2005 London bombings. The UK and Turkey are probably the countries with the most diverse terrorist scene in Europe that have been suffering from ethnic conflict and ethno-terrorism for several decades. Over three decades Turkey has experienced a long and painful period of terrorism, at both national and international levels, that has so far cost nearly 35,000 lives. The UK witnessed a horrific period of terrorist activities called “the Troubles” which lasted with the loss of thousands of lives. As terrorism poses a serious threat not only to national security, but also to the fundamental democratic values of society, the both countries have adopted a number of important legislative measures and policies to protect its citizens. Since 2001 there have been significant amendments in the field of counter-terrorism legislation in the UK and Turkey. The UK's response to the 9/11 bombings was introduction of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 that enabled police to use enormous powers such as stop and search, arrest and long pre-trial detention periods. The act has been revised several times providing extended powers for police. Turkey has also reviewed the counter-terrorism legislation in line with the adaptation process to the European Union Acquis. The revisions brought forward limitations for the use of police powers. However, one of the most significant current discussions in countering-terrorism legislation has become balancing the security and the human rights norms. A central issue in protecting the aim of security and democratic values is to strike a balance on proportionality and necessity approaches from the perspective of human rights.

    The aim of the research is to explore the legislative framework and structural mechanism of anti-terrorism acts in both countries. The research will focus on comparison of the similarities and differences between the anti-terrorism acts of both countries regarding the police powers. The implementations of the counter-terrorism legislations with regards to a human rights perspective will be analysed.

    The comparison of the counter-terrorist legislation of both countries resulted in a significant divergence. The most striking result to emerge from the study is that police use numerous powers in the UK with a strong legal supervision whereas Turkish counterparts use the powers only with the supervision of the public prosecutors and the courts. In the field of human rights many crucial steps have been undertaken with regard to human rights including anti-terrorism acts in Turkey. The positive trend on prevention of torture and ill-treatment continued in Turkey with the implementation of the new legislation. Contrary to Turkey the counter-terrorist legislation that has been enacted since 2001 has evoked considerable concern amongst human rights and civil liberty lawyers as being draconian and making little impact on national security in the UK.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2011 09:53
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:50

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