Presidential decree authorizes State Audit Board to inspect NGOs in Turkey

Turkey’s State Audit Board (DDK) has been authorized by a presidential decree to inspect nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) along with their affiliates and partnerships, the Evrensel daily reported on Friday.

According to Article 3 of the decree, inspectors and group chairs of the DDK will be responsible for carrying out the inspections.

Law (No. 7262) on Preventing Financing of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which threatens the very existence of human rights NGOs, had entered into force in December.

The new terrorism financing legislation amended seven domestic laws and enabled the interior ministry to target NGOs’ legitimate and lawful activities and the right to association of their members. It allowed the interior minister to remove associations’ executives and replace them with government-appointed trustees.

The new legislation was criticized by international organizations and human rights groups due to its provisions exceeding the scope of the law and targeting freedom of association in the country. The Venice Commission also adopted an opinion on the legislation in July 2021.

Following a failed coup in Turkey in July 2016, the government ruled the country under a state of emergency that was in effect until 2018, during which a total of 1,748 associations and foundations were shut down by decree-laws.

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