Erdogan: Turkey's state of emergency to be extended by three months

Turkey's state of emergency is set to be extended by another three months, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated Thursday, and could be in place for a year, if required.

Erdogan said the state of emergency was required to combat threats against the government, following a failed coup attempt in July.

His remarks come after the National Security Council recommended extending the country's state of emergency, imposed for three months just after the putsch attempt, which gives Erdogan and the government sweeping powers.

The country's main opposition bloc and the Kurds have increasingly expressed concern, calling for the measures to end and demanding a return to parliamentary governance. Erdogan says the legislative house is ill-prepared to handle the country's current situation.

The centre-left People's Republican Party (CHP) insists innocent people have been caught up in the purges since the coup and accuses the government of overreach.

Erdogan has used the emergency laws to issue decrees to close down institutions, including dozens of media outlets, and fire more than 50,000 civil servants and suspend tens of thousands more.

The government blames the coup on Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish cleric who denies the charges. Ankara is demanding his extradition from the United States. Turkey has arrested 32,000 people since the failed coup.

Besides Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), an Islamic bloc, only the far-right Nationalist Movement PartY (MHP), the smallest party in parliament, supports the emergency laws.

Measures taken since July have targeted alleged supporters of Gulen but have also affected Kurdish media outlets and leaders, ostensibly on terror-related charges.

Last year, a peace process and ceasefire with the armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), broke down, adding to the country's woes and violence, especially in the mostly-Kurdish south-east.

The cabinet must still approve the move, amid growing concern about Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian leadership.

Last update: Thu, 29/09/2016 - 16:26

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