Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

Award/Publication Date



Professor Daniel J. Capra

Committee Members

Professor Deborah W. Denno; Judge Ethan Greenberg


Counterterrorism, terrorism, preventive detention, the right to counsel, the right to be informed of procedural rights, public safety exception, European Court of Human Rights, counterterrorism courts, radicalization, future dangerousness, proportionality, terrorism in Turkey


This dissertation examines whether Turkish law could be amended in order to address the concerns of counterterrorism officials without unnecessarily infringing on individual rights. It differs from other research conducted on counterterrorism law in a number of ways. First, it provides general information on the concept of terrorism and the history and evolution of terrorism in Turkey. It further compares terrorism in Turkey with Europe and the United States. Second, it compares relevant counterterrorism laws of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Turkey. Third, it shows the approaches of the European and United States highest courts to shared counterterrorism law issues. Fourth, it incorporates interviews with counterterrorism officials in Turkey in the course of its analysis in each chapter, for more concrete legal assessment involving the needs of Turkish counterterrorism practice.

This study suggests three amendments to Turkish law provided that Turkey strengthens its commitment to the rule of law. First, preventive detention on future dangerousness grounds (in the pre-trial and post-sentence stages) may be enacted in Turkey. Second, a public safety exception to the right to counsel and the right to be informed of procedural rights during police interrogation should be created. Further, defense counsel who are engaged in representing others in the same terrorist organization or who aim to obstruct justice in certain ways should be excluded from police interrogation via a magistrate court order. Third, a specialized counterterrorism court system, which involves judges and prosecutors with comprehensive knowledge and expertise on Turkey’s national security priorities and the characteristics of terrorist organizations, may ensure more effective counterterrorism while preventing unnecessary human rights intrusions and sentencing disparities.