Turkey extends state of emergency by three months

The Turkish cabinet headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decided to extend the state of emergency imposed on the country following a failed coup by three more months, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Monday.

The country's National Security Council had previously recommended an extension of the state of emergency, which was originally implemented on July 21 for 90 days following the failed coup attempt of July 15.

The state of emergency, which gives Erdogan and the government sweeping powers, will continue until January 15 of 2017, should parliament approve the cabinet decision.

Parliamentary approval is considered a mere formality, as Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which supports the emergency laws, form the majority.

Erdogan has said the state of emergency was required to combat threats against the government.

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.

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 update: Mon, 03/10/2016 - 17:12
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