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Arif Barış Özbilen
Pınar Altinok Ormanci


The freedom of association, as guaranteed under both the European Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, is one of the most important freedoms which enables individuals to develop their moral existence, to come together around a goal and spread their ideas. A regulation causing injury to the freedom of association in Turkey entered into force by virtue of the “Law on the Prevention of Financing Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” which was hastily published in the Official Gazette on the last day of 2020, as to hide it from the public. Under this regulation, it has become possible to dismiss organs of associations which are under prosecution, to assign external guardians to the administration of the association and even to halt the activities of an association upon a discretionary decision from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This paper aims to examine this regulation which, on the one hand, constitutes a violation of the presumption of innocence, a general principle of law, and which, on the other hand, enables the halting of the activities of associations by virtue of an arbitrary decision from the political power based on the justification that such activities constitute an “act of terror”. This paper also aims to expose the dangerous consequences that this regulation entails with regards to the rule of law.

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