Nergis Demirkaya / DUVAR

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has submitted a legislation proposal to the parliament seeking to extend the security investigations that are conducted against candidates for jobs in the bureaucracy, police and military to include students who intend to enter those fields before they even begin their higher education.

While the AKP government has defended the legislation as necessary in order to not victimize candidates for these jobs who attend four years of schools only to find out after their investigation has been conducted that they will not be placed, the opposition has criticized it as a mechanism of blacklisting. 

“Let’s [do the investigation] while they are still students, if there are no problems after they finish their education, they can continue on their path safe and sound. Neither their labor will go to waste, nor will the labor that our state has provided for them,” said Deputy Interior Minister Mehmet Ersoy.

Meanwhile, the opposition has blasted the legislation as a means of the state getting rid of candidates that it deems problematic from the start. 

“It is clear that they are saying ‘let’s cut them off from the beginning’ meaning ‘let’s prevent those who aren’t one of us from entering the state [apparatus] from the beginning’,” said main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Faruk Sarısarslan. 

CHP deputy and constitutional law expert İbrahim Kaboğlu said he found the legislation objectionable and said that it should be overturned by the Constitutional Court:

“This cannot happen, it should be seen as the fundamental stone of a path that leads the way to an authoritarian state and society,” Kaboğlu said.