Turkey says it can now fire police officers and coastguards who marry 'adulterers'

Decree issued under country’s state of emergency part of extensive new disciplinary provisions for law enforcement officials

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The Independent Online

Turkey has issued a state of emergency decree that means law enforcement officials, including security officials, police and coast guard officers, could lose their jobs if they marry a “known adulterer”.

The clause in the new legislation, announced on Monday, reads that state-employed law enforcement officials cannot “intentionally marry a person who is known to be impure, or to stay in a marriage, or continue to live with such a person.” The offence is punishable by up to 24 months’ suspension from work.

The far reaching decree also covers stricter rules on drinking, gambling, the vague and emphatic “going to places that would ruin your reputation”, as well as “excessive spending”, all while off duty.  

The legislation provides new legal repercussions that mean that whistleblowers can be fired if they communicate information “damaging the honour and dignity of the profession”, or pass official documents to “unauthorised” people.

Union membership, demonstrating and striking are also subject to stricter oversights.

Turkey introduced a state of emergency, giving the government martial law powers, in July last year following a failed military coup aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from office.

The subsequent crackdown on followers of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen - whom the Turkish government blamed for the coup - as well as secularist elements within Turkey’s legal system, schools, universities, police and the military has seen hundreds of thousands of people arrested or fired from government jobs.

Opposition politicians, rights activists and journalists have also been targeted in the post-coup purge.

Last week, European intelligence agency documents surfaced which suggested Brussels intel officials believed the coup was triggered by fears that Mr Erdogan was planning an imminent purge of army officials who disagreed with his policies on the Kurds and in neighbouring Syria. 

The Turkish public is set to vote in the spring in a referendum on new legislative reform which would abolish the position of prime minister and hand the sitting president executive powers, including the ability to hire and fire ministers at will.

The proposed changes could let Mr Erdogan stay in office until 2029.