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Bill proposed by Turkey’s AKP seeks to give Erdoğan authority to freeze assets

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Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has proposed a bill that would allow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to freeze the assets of people and organizations included on the United Nations Security Council Consolidated List (UN Sanctions List) and the assets of individuals linked to them, the Birgün daily reported on Thursday.

The proposal was drafted in order to “fight against the laundering of assets obtained through criminal acts, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

The proposed bill stipulates that an inspection and cooperation commission, consisting of representatives from Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK), the Justice Ministry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Trade Ministry, be established to advise the president.

The proposal also seeks to expand the powers of the Interior Ministry to include the authority to “suspend the activities of associations” and “dismiss their boards.”

If the proposal becomes law, the ministry will have the authority to suspend the activities of associations and their boards as a precautionary measure in the event they are accused of financing terrorism or laundering money obtained through drug trafficking.

The bill further includes measures against people who launch online aid campaigns without an official permit. When such cases are detected, the relevant governor’s office or the Interior Ministry will have the authority to demand that access to the online content be blocked. The judge who receives the demand will be able to block access to the content without holding a hearing.

The proposal also seeks to limit the number of associations that provide financial aid to people outside Turkey, and those associations allowed to do it will have to report their activities to the relevant bodies of the government.

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