Turkish government to extend state of emergency by 3 more months for fifth time

October 16, 2017 7:30 pm

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag (Photo by AFP)

The Turkish government has endorsed a recommendation by the National Security Council (MGK) to extend the state of emergency that has been in place in the country since the failed coup in the summer of 2016.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Monday the state of emergency was extended for a fifth consecutive three-month period to allow the government to press ahead with its fight against terror organizations.
The announcement came after a cabinet meeting in Ankara.
Bozdag said the measure, which has sparked massive criticism both inside and outside , would guarantee “democracy, rule of law and rights and freedoms of our citizens.”
As part of the state of emergency, Turkey has arrested more than 50,000 people on suspicion of links to Fethulleah Gulen, the US-based cleric who has been blamed by Ankara as the mastermind of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Gulen has denied any involvement in the coup attempt and said the crackdown is part of a bigger plot to muzzle dissent.

Turkish riot police detain a protester during a court hearing of academic Nuriye Gulmen and teacher Semih Ozakca outside Sincan prison in Ankara province on September 28, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Since the launch of the crackdown, some 150,000 people have been fired or suspended from their jobs in the military, the judiciary and civil services.
The government has also used post-coup suppression to launch a military crackdown on suspected Kurdish militants.
Turkey imposed for the first time the state of emergency a week after the coup attempt.
The state of emergency has been extended four times, in October 2016, in January, April and July this year. All the extensions have come in three-month intervals and the previous extension is set to expire on Thursday.
The new extension should get the parliament approval before it can be implemented.
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