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The Constitutional Court has abolished the provisions of the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations No 2911, that provide that "meetings and marches must be ended before sunset, these should not be carried out on the roads and thus obstruct daily life".
119 MPs from the Republican People's Party (CHP) applied to the Constitutional Court to abolish certain articles of the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations No 2911.
The Constitutional Court's above mentioned decision was published on the Official Gazette today (December 28, 2017).
Constitutional right to freedom of assembly and demonstration
Başvuruda, 2911 sayılı Toplantı ve Gösteri Yürüyüşleri Kanunu'ndaki şu maddelerin iptal edilmesi istenmişti: In their application, the MPs requested that Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations No 2911 be abolished. The concerning articles provide that:
* Article 6: The locations and routes of meetings and demonstration marches in provinces and districts are determined by the highest-ranking administrative chief of the province or district,
* Article 7: Gatherings for the purpose of meetings and marches cannot take place before sunrise. Meetings and marches in open spaces should be organized in a way that the group can be dispersed before sunset and meetings in closed spaces can only last until 24:00.
* Article 22: No meetings can be organized in public roads and parks, intereprovincial roads, sanctuaries, public buildings and premises and extensions of these as well as locations that are 1 km close to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM).
The Constitutional Court in its decision abolished the provision that "meetings and marches must be ended before sunset, these should not be carried out on the roads and thus obstruct daily life".
The court also pointed to the relevant Article 34 of the Constitution that guarantees that "Without obtaining a permission, everyone has the right to organize an unarmed meeting and demonstration march without any assault".
Emphasis on "freedom of expression" and "democracy"
In its decision, the Constitutional Court has underlined that the right to freedom of assembly and demonstration is closely related to the freedom of expression and constituted the basis for a democratic society.
"Demonstrations can affect daily life"
Besides, the court also stated that organizing assemblies and demonstrations can to a certain extend interfere with the rights and freedoms of other people that this fact would not be an adequate reason to ban meetings and demonstrations.
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