Law on Assemblies and Demonstrations is available on our website 13.07.2017

LAW ON ASSEMBLIES AND DEMONSTRATIONS

 

Law No: 2911

Date of enactment: 6/10/1983

Promulgated in the Official Gazette on 8/10/1983 No: 18185

Promulgated in the Statute Book, Order: 5 Volume: 22, Page: 662

 

CHAPTER ONE

General Provisions

Purpose and scope

Article 1- This Law shall determine the forms, conditions and procedures to be applied in the exercise of the right to assemble and demonstrate, the place, time, procedure and conditions of the assembly and demonstrations to be held by real and legal persons, duties and responsibilities of the organizing board, the possible prohibitions and adjournment which may be ruled by the competent authority, the duties and competence of security forces and prohibitions and criminal provisions.

Definitions

Article 2- The following concepts shall mean:

  1. Assembly: Meetings held outdoor and indoor within the framework of this Law by real and legal persons with a view to having the public adopt a subject through enlightening them and creating  public opinion on certain matters,
  2. Demonstration: Parades held within the framework of this Law by real and legal persons with a view to having the public adopt a subject through enlightening them and creating public opinion on certain matters,
  3. The highest administrative authority of the location: Governors in the provinces and district governors in the districts,
  4. (Amended on 2/1//2017- Decree Law- 680/50) Security officers of the location: In provinces, security director and commander of the gendarmerie, in districts district security authority or commissioner and district gendarmerie commander, in Coast Guard Command, Coast Guard Regional Commander, Coast Guard Group Commander, Coast Guard Police Station Commander and Coast Guard Ship/Boat Commander.

The Governor of the province is the highest administrative authority of the location for the application of this Law in the parts of the districts of a province that are inside the municipal borders.

Right to Assembly and Demonstration

Article 3- Everyone has the right to assemble and demonstrate unarmed and unaggressively, without prior permission, for certain purposes which are not considered crimes by law, in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

(Amended on 3/8/2002-4771/5) The assemblies and demonstrations of foreigners in accordance with these law provisions shall be upon the permission of the Ministry of Interior. The foreigners may address the public during assemblies or demonstrations organized according to this Law and carry banners, placards, pictures, symbol flags, sign boards and various equipments provided that the highest administrative authority of the location be notified at least forty-eight hours before the assembly.

Article 4-

The meetings and activities below do not fall into the scope of these provisions.

  1. Indoor meetings which will be held by political parties, public professional organizations, labour unions, foundations, associations, trade partnerships and other legal persons pursuant to their private laws and regulations,
  2. Meetings, celebrations, receptions, festivals and farewells which will be held in accordance with the law or traditions provided that they obey their own laws and fall into the scope of their rules and boundaries,
  3. Sports activities and meetings held for scientific, commercial and economic purposes,
  4. Assemblies and speeches of President of the Republic, Prime Minister and ministers which are organized on the state and government affairs and meetings between members of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the public.

Provisions on electoral period

Article 5- Provisions regarding the assemblies for propaganda during elections are reserved.

 

CHAPTER TWO

Places for Assemblies and Demonstrations

Places and Itinerary for Assemblies and Demonstrations

Article 6- (Amended on 2/3/2014-6529/5)

Assemblies and demonstrations may be organized everywhere inside the borders of provinces and districts on the condition of observance of the following provisions.

Places and itineraries for assemblies and demonstrations in provinces and districts shall be determined by the highest administrative authority of the location through considering the opinions of political parties representatives in province and district having groups in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, of mayors of the province and district where the assembly or demonstration will be held, of provincial and district representatives of three labour unions with the largest number of members and public professional organizations, provided that public and general order is not interrupted, that citizens' daily life is not disrupted and restrictions under first paragraph of Article 22 are observed. More than one place and itinerary may be determined for assemblies and demonstrations considering the capacity, development and housing features of the province and district.

The designated place and itinerary for assemblies and demonstrations shall be announced by websites of governor's or district governor's offices or by local newspaper.

Changes which can be made afterwards regarding the places and itineraries for assemblies and demonstrations shall also be announced as stated above. Such changes shall be valid only after fifteen days following the announcement.

In provinces and districts where more than one place and itinerary is determined for assemblies or demonstrations, the organizing board may choose one of the determined places or itineraries provided that public and general order is not interrupted and citizens' daily life is not disrupted.

Time of assemblies and demonstrations

Article 7- Assemblies, demonstrations and meetings for similar reasons shall not begin before the sunrise.

(Amended second paragraph: 2/3/2014-6529/6) Outdoor assemblies and demonstrations shall disperse before sunset, indoor assemblies shall disperse by 12 pm.

Determination of public place

Article 8- The place of an assembly shall be deemed public place until it ends.

 

CHAPTER THREE

Forms and Conditions of Assemblies

Organizing Board

Article 9- (Amended on 26/3/2002-4748/6)

Assemblies shall be organized in accordance with this Law, by an organizing board consisting of at least seven persons who have the capacity to act and reached the age of eighteen. This board shall elect one person among themselves as their chairman. Those holding diplomatic immunity shall not be the chairman or member of the organizing board.

Assemblies and demonstrations of legal persons shall be decided by their competent authority.

Submission of Notification

Article 10- (Amended on 3/8/2002-4771/5)

In order to be able to hold the assembly, a notification shall be signed by the entire organizing board and submitted to the governor's or district governor's office in the place of the assembly, at least forty eight hours before the taking place of the Assembly and within working hours.

In this notification:

  1. The purpose of the Assembly,
  2. Place, day, beginning and ending time of the Assembly,
  3. Clear identities, professions, residence addresses and if any, work places of organizing board chairman and members shall be included and documents in the legislation shall be appended to the notification.

Upon this notification, the letter of receipt including the day and hour shall be submitted. 

In the event that this notification is not approved by the governor's or district governor's office or letter of receipt is not provided, the arbitrary action shall be detected by minutes. In this case, a denunciation shall be lodged via the notary. The time of denunciation shall be deemed the time when the notification is submitted.

In the event that different organizing boards have lodged notifications to hold assembly on the same day, the first board to have sent the notification shall be accepted. The others shall be immediately notified of the situation in writing.

Taking place of the Assembly

Article 11-

 The assembly shall be held in the place mentioned in the notification provided that provisions of Article 6 are observed. The organizing board shall be liable for placing at least seven persons of all their members including the chairman in the place of assembly. (Amended third sentence: 2/3/2014-6529/7) The minutes which indicate that the liability is met shall be prepared by the organizing board and handed over to the competent chief of law enforcement.

(Additional paragraph: 2/3/2014-6529/7) The voices and videos of participants or speakers may be recorded provided that their recording is explicitly realized by the law enforcement officers. The acquired records and videos may not be used for purposes other than determination of suspects and criminal evidence.  

Duties and responsibilities of the organizing board

Article 12- The organizing board shall ensure peace and order of the meeting and that the meeting does not digress from the purposes indicated in the notification. The board shall take necessary measures and shall ask help from security forces if necessary. (Amended third sentence: 2/3/2014-6529/8) In the event that the meeting digresses from its purposes or it is impossible to hold the meeting in order, the board, if unable to assemble, the board chairman shall dismiss the meeting and shall immediately inform the competent chief of law enforcement of the situation.

The responsibility of the organizing board shall last until the assembly is completely dispersed from the place of gathering.

Government commissioner and competences

Article 13- (Repealed: 2/3/2014-6529/16)

 

CHAPTER FOUR

Adjournment or prohibition of the assembly

Adjournment of the assembly by the organizing board

Article 14- The meeting may be adjourned for once only and for forty eight hours at most by the majority of the organizing board at least twenty four hours before the meeting, provided that the notified governor's or district governor's office is informed in writing.

Adjourning assemblies more than once

Article 15- In the event that more than one meeting is requested in a province for the same day and if the governor considers that security forces under his command and other forces which may also be useful cannot ensure the security of meetings, the governor may adjourn some of the meetings for once only and for at most ten days. During adjournment process, the first application shall be given the priority.

Adjournment of the assembly by the regional governor's office and Ministry of Interior

Article 16-                 

  1. In the event that meetings in more than one province on the same day are notified to a regional governor's office and that relevant governors request reinforcement from regional governor's office for the safety of meeting, if the regional governor considers the requests as unable to be met, meetings in provinces where no reinforcement will be sent may be adjourned for once only and at most ten days by the regional governor's office.
  2. In the event that meetings in more than one province on the same day are notified to more than one regional governor's office and that relevant regional governors request reinforcement from Ministry of Interior for the safety of meeting, if the Ministry considers the requests as unable to be met, meetings in provinces of the regional governor's office where no reinforcement will be sent may be adjourned for once only and at most ten days by the Ministry of Interior.

The first application shall be given the priority during adjournment process.

Adjournment of the meeting or prohibition in some cases

Article 17- (Amended on 26/3/2002-4748/6)

Regional governor, governor or district governor may adjourn a meeting for a period of one month at most to maintain national security, public order, prevent committing crimes, protect public health, morals and rights and freedoms of others or they may prohibit a meeting in case there is an obvious and close danger of commission of a crime.

Notification of prohibition or adjournment

Article 18- Reasoned decision of adjournment or prohibition for meetings adjourned or prohibited by regional governor, Governor or district governor or adjourned by Ministry of Interior, shall be notified in writing to the chairman of organizing board, if not available, one of the members at least twenty four hours before the beginning of the meeting. Meetings adjourned or prohibited by governors or district governors shall be notified to regional governor's office and Ministry of Interior, meetings adjourned or prohibited by regional governors shall be notified to Ministry of Interior.          

The cases under Article 17 where a meeting may be adjourned or prohibited by regional governor's, governor's or district governor's offices without the condition of notifying the meeting at least twenty four hours before are indicated in the by-law.

The meeting may take place one day after the day of adjournment depending upon whether the organizing board will make a new notification under Article 10.

 

Adjournment or prohibition of all meetings in provinces or districts

Article 19- (Amended first sentence: 26/3/2002-4748/6)

Regional governor may adjourn all meetings in one or several provinces of the region or in one or several districts of a province for a period of one month at most, in order to maintain national security, public order, to prevent committing crimes, protect public health and morals or rights and freedoms of others. (Amended second sentence:30/7/2003-4963/22) Governors may prohibit all meetings in one or several districts of a province for a period of one month at most

for the same reasons above and in the event that there is explicit and close danger of committing a crime.

Prohibition shall be made with a reason. The summary of the decision shall be proclaimed through ordinary means in the places to be prohibited. In addition, Ministry of Interior is informed of the situation.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

Forms and Conditions, Adjournment or Prohibition of Demonstrations

Provisions to be implemented during demonstrations

Article 20- Provisions in Part 3 and 4 shall apply to forms and conditions, adjournment or prohibition of demonstrations.

Notifications of demonstrations which will be organized on general roads in provinces and towns shall include the meeting point, the route for the demonstration and the place where demonstration will end, providing that roads and directions indicated under Article 6 are obeyed.

 

CHAPTER SIX

Prohibitions and Illegal Assemblies and Demonstrations

Misuse of assemblies and demonstrations

Article 21- (Repealed: 26/3/2002-4748/7)

Prohibited places

Article 22- Assemblies shall not be held on general roads, parks, sanctuaries, buildings and facilities conducting public affairs and their premises and in the area within one kilometer off Turkish Grand National Assembly and demonstrations shall not be organized in intercity main roads.

Regulations which will be made by governor's or district governor's offices during assemblies in main squares to ensure the passing of people and transport vehicles shall have to be obeyed.

Illegal assemblies and demonstrations

Article 23- Assemblies or demonstrations;

  1. Which are organized without submitting notification in accordance with Article 9 and 10 or before or after the specified day and time for the assembly and demonstration,
  2. (Amended on 30/7/1998-4378/1) During which firearms or fireworks, molotov cocktails or similar explosive including those handmade, any penetrating, sharp instruments or stone, club, iron and rubber bars, strangling wire or chain, injuring and strangling tools such as iron balls and catapult or burning, erosive, wounding drugs or any other poison or fume, gas and similar substances or signs or symbols of illegal organizations or communities are carried or clothes reminiscent of uniforms with such signs and symbols are worn, persons cover their faces partly or completely with clothes and other objects to conceal their identities and banners, placards, sign boards, pictures tools and instruments with content being considered crime are carried or slogans of that kind are chanted or if the assembly or demonstration is recorded by voice equipments,
  3. Which are organized not in accordance with Article 7,
  4. Which are organized outside of the places indicated under Article 6 and 10,
  5. Which are organized inconsistently with methods and terms under Article 20 and prohibition and measures under Article 22,
  6. Which go beyond their own purposes, rules and boundaries about the subjects excluded from the scope of the Law by Article 4,
  7. Which are organized with intentions constituting crime by the laws,
  8. Digressing from the purpose indicated in the notification,
  9. Which are organized before the end of the prohibition or adjournment date which are set when an assembly or demonstration is prohibited or adjourned under Articles 14, 15, 16, 17 and 19,
  10. (Amended on 2/3/2014-6529/9) Which are organized although the assembly is dispersed in accordance with Article 12,
  11. Which are organized as contrary to Article 21,
  12. Which are organized as contrary to the second paragraph of Article 3,

 are deemed contrary to the Law.

Dispersal of assemblies or demonstrations

Article 24- (Amended first paragraph: 2/3/2014-6529/10) In the event that an assembly or demonstration which lawfully started later deemed unlawful due to emergence of one of or several unlawful situations indicated under Article 23:

  1. The organizing board or chairman of the board shall announce the public that the assembly or demonstration has ended and immediately notify the competent chief of law enforcement of the situation.
  2. In case the organizing board or chairman of the board does not fulfill this duty, the competent chief of law enforcement shall inform the highest administrative authority of the location about the situation. The highest administrative authority of the location shall decide to conclude the gathering or not.
  3. The highest administrative authority of the location shall authorize security officers of the location or one of them and send to the scene in writing or under urgent circumstances orally providing that the command is later verified in writing.

The officer shall tell the crowd to disperse in compliance with the law, if not, they would be dispersed forcefully. The crowd shall be dispersed forcefully if they do not disperse on their own. (Repealed third sentence: 2/3/2014- 6529/10)

In the event that, under circumstances regulated in the first sentence, the security forces are subject to assault or resistance or the places or persons under their protection are subject to assault, the security forces shall resort to force without the need for a warning.

In the event that participants to assemblies or demonstrations carry arms, tools, instruments or substances specified under subparagraph (b) of Article 23 or chant slogans, they shall be excluded by security forces, only then the assembly or demonstration continues. However, in case that the number and attitudes of such participants amount to an extent that will deem the assembly or demonstration unlawful and cause dispersal, provisions of the paragraph above shall apply.

The organizing board shall be liable for assisting the security forces in detecting and removing the participants who carry arms, tools, instruments or substances or chant slogans during assembly or demonstration.

In cases that assemblies or demonstrations start unlawfully; members of security forces shall forthwith notify the highest administrative authority of the location of the incidence, take necessary measures via current means and security forces commander who has intervened in the incident shall tell the crowd to disperse, otherwise, they would be dispersed forcefully, if the crowd does not disperse on its own, they shall be dispersed by using force.

Arrest of offenders

Article 25- In order to arrest offenders who commit crime in the crowd or criminals, orders and warnings under Article 24 are not necessary.

Instruments which are used to call for people and make propaganda

Article 26- Printed, duplicated or hand written invitations, sign boards or announcements which will be used to call for assembly or demonstration or make propaganda shall include the first, last names and signatures of the chairman of the organizing board including those of at least six members;  those which need to be hung shall be hung on points previously designated by governor's or district governor's offices, providing that the method mentioned under Article 6 is observed.

The tools and instruments which will serve for propaganda or calls shall not have any writing or picture which encourage or incite the public to commit crimes.

People may be called to the assembly or demonstration by a tool or instrument amplifying or transferring sounds from the day before the assembly or demonstration until the starting hour of assembly or demonstration providing that this period is completed between sunrise and sunset. Outside of the specified time, such tools or instruments shall not be used.

During indoor assemblies, tools or instruments amplifying sound shall not be used to broadcast the gathering to the outside.

Incitement is prohibited

Article 27- Encouraging or inciting the public to participate in an unlawful assembly or demonstration, by speaking to or addressing the public directly or via any tool or instrument amplifying or transferring sounds or by posting printed, duplicated, handwritten or painted papers on the walls or other points or distributing them or through similar instruments or means is prohibited.

Such actions shall forthwith be prohibited by security forces.

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

Criminal Provisions

Acting contrary to prohibitions

Article 28- (Amended on 23/1/2008-5728/422)

Persons who organize or manage an unlawful assembly or demonstration and participate in their activities shall be sentenced from one year and six months to three years of imprisonment, providing that the act does not constitute another crime which would necessitate a heavier penalty.

In case that persons shown as members of organizing board in the notification to be submitted in accordance with Article 10, do not hold the qualities in Article 9 and despite that fact the assembly or demonstration is still made, they shall be sentenced to up to one year of imprisonment.

Members of the organizing board who have not fulfilled the tasks written under Articles 11 and 12 shall be sentenced from six months to two years of imprisonment.

Persons who use force and violence or threaten or exert influence over and bodily harm security forces or officers who are tasked with detecting assembly or demonstration through technical tools and means shall be sentenced to imprisonment from two years up to five years, unless their acts necessitate a heavier penalty.

Persons who hinder the assembly or demonstration

Article 29- Persons who hinder the assembly or demonstration or violate the assembly or demonstration through arrangements which will not allow conducting the rest of the gathering shall be sentenced to imprisonment from nine months to one year and six month, unless the act constitutes another crime which would necessitate a heavier penalty.

Persons disturbing the peace and tranquility

Article 30- Persons who make threats, insults, attacks or displays resistant behavior in order to disturb the peace or tranquility during an assembly or demonstration or who disturb the peace and tranquility through other means shall be imprisoned for a term from one year and six months to three years, unless the act constitutes another crime which necessitates a heavier penalty.

Illegal means of propaganda and incitement to commit crimes

Article 31- Persons who prepare, print or use to propagandize the written means of propaganda which are stated under Article 26 and which do not carry the first, last names and signatures of the chairman and at least six members of the organizing board or who do not obey the prohibitions and conditions under Article 26 through other means shall be imprisoned for a term from six months to one year.

In the event that such means of propaganda have writing, pictures or signs encouraging and inciting people to commit crimes or other instruments are utilized to that end, the perpetrators shall be imprisoned for a term from one year and six months to three years, unless the act constitutes another crime which necessitates a heavier penalty.

In the event that a crime is committed due to encouragement and incitement to crime or that a person attempts to commit a crime, those who have encouraged or incited them shall be imprisoned for a term from three years to five years, unless the act constitutes another crime which necessitates a heavier penalty.

Article 32- (Amended on 22/7/2010-6008/1)

In case that persons who participate in unlawful assembly or demonstrations resist despite the warning or use of force, they shall be imprisoned for a term from six months to three years. In case that those who organized the assembly or demonstration commit this crime, the penalty to be imposed under this paragraph shall be increased by half.

In the event that despite the officers' warning or use of force, law enforcement officers face a resistance through violence or threats, perpetrators shall also be sentenced due to the crime defined under Article 265 of the Turkish Penal Code dated 26/9/2004 No. 5237 .

In the event that an assembly or demonstration is dispersed without the existence of circumstances defined under Article 23 and by exceeding the scope of authority and non-compliance of the Article 24, penalties envisaged for those who committed the crimes in the paragraphs above may be reduced by up to one fourth or may be renounced.

Participating in assemblies and demonstrations with arms

Article 33- (Amended on 22/7/2010 - 6008/2)

(Amended first paragraph: 27/3/2015-6638/8) Participants of assemblies or demonstrations;

  1. who carry firearms or fireworks, molotov cocktails or similar explosives including those of handmade, any sharp, penetrating instruments or stone, club, iron and rubber bars, strangling wire or chain, injuring and strangling tools such as iron balls and catapult or burning, erosive, wounding drugs or any poison or fume, gas and similar substances or who cover their faces partly or completely with clothes and other objects to conceal their identities shall be imprisoned for a term from two years and six months to four years,
  2. who carry signs or symbols of illegal organizations or communities or wear clothes reminiscent of uniforms with such signs and symbols and who carry banners, placards, sign boards, pictures, tools and instruments with content being considered crime by laws or chant slogans of that kind or record the assembly or demonstration by sound equipment shall be imprisoned for a term from six months to three years.

In the event that an assembly or demonstration is against the law and there is resistance to dispersal, penalties shall be imposed in accordance with provisions in Article 32.

Instigators and accomplices

Article 34- In the event that the assembly or demonstration is not made or made but dispersed following the first command and warning, those acting against the prohibition under Article 27 shall be imprisoned for a term from one year and six months to four years, unless the act constitutes another crime which necessitates a heavier penalty; in case the assembly or demonstration is dispersed forcefully they shall be imprisoned from three years to five years.

Provision which will not be enforced for minors

Article 34/A- (Added on 22/7/2010 - 6008/3)

In terms of minors who committed the crime of resistance by participating in unlawful assemblies or demonstrations or the crime of making propaganda during assemblies or demonstrations, the second paragraph of Article 2 of Anti-Terrorism Law No. 3713 shall not be enforced.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

Miscellaneous Provisions

Enforcement of Provisions Concerning Flagrante Delicto

Article 35- (Repealed on 23/1/2008-5728/578)

Amount to be paid to government commissioner

Article 36- (Repealed on 2/3/2014-6529/16)

Amendment of Regulations

Article 37- Application of duties, competence and responsibilities of the organizing board, security forces and military unit, subjects indicated under Articles 10 and 18 and other subjects related to the application of this Law shall be amended by regulations which will be issued by Ministries of Justice, National Defence and Interior within three months from the promulgation of this Law and published in the Official Gazette.

Reserved provisions

Article 38- Competences related to subjects under the scope of this Law which are in the Law for Provincial Administration and other Laws shall be reserved.

Annulled provisions

Article 39- The Law on the Freedom of Assembly and Demonstration dated 10/2/1963 and No. 171 was annulled.

Additional Article 1- (27/3/2015-6638/9)

During collective incidences where widespread violent acts may cause serious disruption in the public order, in case that the damages to public properties or to properties of real or legal persons are compensated by the State, the relevant administration shall impose the payment on the responsible persons according to general provisions. The statute of limitations regarding the request of recourse under the scope of this Law shall be applied as doubled.

Provisional Article 1- The identification and announcement shall be made within three months from the promulgation of this Law in accordance with Articles 6 and 26 of this Law.

Provisional Article 2- The authorization to adjourn which is vested in regional governors by this Law shall be exercised by the Ministry of Interior until the regional governor's offices are established.

Entry into force

Article 40-This Law shall enter into force three months after its promulgation.

Article 41- The provisions of this Law shall be executed by the Council of Ministers.

 

DATES OF ENTRY INTO FORCE OF THE LEGISLATION AMENDING THE LAW NO. 2911 AND OF THE DECISIONS FOR ANNULMENT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

 

Number of the Amending Law/Decree Law/ Constitutional Court Decision for Annulment

Amended or annulled articles of the Law No. 2911

Date of Entry Into Force

4378

-

2/8/1998

4748

-

9/4/2002

4771

-

9/8/2002

4963

-

7/8/2003

5728

28,29,30,31,32,35

8/2/2008

6008

32,33,34/A

25/7/2010

6529

6,7,11,12,13,23,24,28,36,37

13/3/2014

6638

23,33, Additional Article 1

4/4/2015

Decree Law/680

2

6/1/2017

Judiciary of Turkey