The Law No. 7262 on the Preventing the Proliferation of Financing Weapons of Mass Destruction (“Law”), which created a great debate in the civil society, entered into force on December 31, 2020. It was stated by the group of people who submitted and approved the law proposal that the Law was enacted to handle the issues included in the United Nations Security Council (”UNSC”)‘s resolutions numbered 1373, 1267, 1988, 1989 and 2253 in order to fight against terrorism and the prevention of financing of terrorism and recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (”FATF”)‘s Turkey report dated 2019.
The UNSC’s aforementioned resolutions include obligations such as the domestic laws of the member states shall regulate the financing of terrorism as a crime, shall prevent terrorism and terrorist organizations from creating financial resources directly or indirectly, and therefore the member states shall cooperate.
In FATF’s Report on Turkey published in 2019, it was stated that Turkey should make various improvements on the fight against financing of terrorism and noted that Turkey has been slow in implementing the UNSC resolutions. Therefore, in accordance with Article 25 and the temporary provisions on security regulated in Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter (“UN Charter”) dated June 26, 1945, the resolutions taken by the UNSC are binding for all member states. In other words, all member states of the UN must accept and implement all resolutions taken by the UNSC.
Pursuant to Article 41 of the UN Charter, it is stipulated that various measures may be implemented for member states that do not comply with the UNSC resolutions. These are measures includes complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations however, these measures do not include the use of armed force. In the next article of the UN Charter, it was stated that if these measures are considered as inadequate, the UNSC may take all kind of measures it needs to protect international peace and security through air, sea, or land forces.
The sanctions foreseen in case of non-compliance with resolutions of the UNSC, which Turkey was also a temporary member in the periods of 1951-1952, 1954-1955 and in a half-period shared with Poland in 1961, have been imposed to a total of 30 countries as of 2020. In this context, this Law provides for effective deterrent and proportional sanctions to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and at also aims to fulfill both the UNSC resolutions and the recommendations in the FATF’s report.
In our next blog, we will evaluate the sanctions stipulated in the Law and their impact on non-governmental organizations.