What Is Martial Law And How Does It Work?

On July 15, 2016, a faction of the Turkish military tried, and failed, to overthrow the country’s government Turkey erupted in chaos, and thousands of citizens spilled into the streets

During the attempted coup, the military took over the state-run TV channel, announcing that they would impose a curfew and place the nation under martial law Had the coup been successful, it would have been the fourth time Turkey had been placed under such conditions So what exactly is martial law? Well, in the simplest terms, marital law means that the military has replaced the standing government As such, the highest ranking military official becomes the head of state, and the country’s constitution, along with individual rights and freedoms, are suspended Martial law is usually a response to a malicious, corrupt or inefficient government, and is imposed after a coup d’etat or political uprising

But in rarer instances, it can occur during a conflict or after a natural disaster, when the state is particularly vulnerable   In the United States, martial law is directly linked to the writ of habeas corpus, which, broadly speaking, gives the judiciary the power to oversee law enforcement When habeas corpus is suspended, the country is arguably in a state of martial law This has only happened on a federal level once: when President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War However it has happened on a state or local level a number of times

For example, what is now the state of Hawaii was placed under martial law following the Pearl Harbor Attack in World War Two The city of San Francisco has dealt with martial law twice – once after the 1906 earthquake, and again in 1934, when the California governor responded to the dock workers’ strike by placing just the docks under martial law But in certain countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, martial law is not nearly as rare The Philippines, for instance, has instituted martial law five times, one of which lasted nearly a decade In Thailand, the military has seized power a whopping 12 times in the last century

The most recent instance was in 2014, when the military junta ousted the democratically elected government amid months of violent protests Martial law was lifted the following year, only to be replaced with a law that grants the military junta sweeping powers in the name of maintaining “peace and stability” Military officials can seize assets, censor the media and detain or arrest anyone suspected of crimes against Thailand’s royal family In most countries, martial law is a last resort, and, as a result, is extremely rare The military tends to seize power during a time of political or social unrest, however they often have the opposite effect – that is, creating a violent police-state

So, it’s understandable that citizens of countries that have been placed under martial law several times would be weary of such conditions For instance during the attempted coup in Turkey, many citizens came out in support of their controversial president and ruling party For those familiar with martial law, a corrupt or otherwise unjust government is oftentimes better than the alternative… We couldn’t make fascinating episodes like this without our sponsor, DOMAIN DOT COM

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So what exactly is a coup d’etat? Check out this video to learn more (sound up) Thanks for watching us today on TestTube News! Be sure to like us and subscribe to our channel

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