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Rights groups unmoved by Turkey's softened state of emergency

As Turkey's state of emergency continues, the government has passed measures establishing a commission for grievances and reducing the period police can hold detainees without charges in what critics call a cosmetic move.
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 24:  An EU and Turkish National flag are seen outside a shopping mall on November 24, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.  European Parliament today voted to suspend Turkey's EU membership talks. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the decision " has no value for us." The Turkish Lira has weakened significantly since the July 15th failed coup attempt forcing Turkey's central bank today to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly three years.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty

In rare and hopeful sign that Turkey still cares about its fraying ties with Europe, the government has quietly passed a series of new decrees that ease detention terms under the state of emergency that has been in force since the July coup attempt.

The measures, which came into effect on Jan. 23, sharply reduce the detention period for those held without charges from a maximum of 30 days to 14 and allows immediate access to lawyers. They also call for the establishment of a commission to examine complaints arising from detentions, dismissals and closures of companies, including media outlets, under the state of emergency. Those dissatisfied with the commission’s findings will reportedly be able to appeal their cases in domestic courts.

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