The government in Turkey
has asked parliament to extend the state of emergency, which was first imposed almost a year ago in the wake of an abortive coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
A statement from Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s office on Monday said that the cabinet had demanded that parliament extend the emergency rule by another three months as of Wednesday.
Parliament is expected to approve the request as it is dominated by lawmakers from Erdogan’s Justice and Development party. The measure, imposed six days after the July 15, 2016 coup, allowed Erdogan to launch a massive crackdown on suspected coup plotters and sympathizers of Fethullah Gulen, the US-based opposition cleric who is blamed for the failed putsch against Erdogan. The religious figure has denied Turkey’s allegations.
More than 50,000 people have been jailed and another 150,000 suspended or fired from work on suspicion of links to Gulen.
The government’s request for the renewal of the state of emergency comes following a huge rally in Istanbul on Saturday night on the anniversary of the coup attempt. Erdogan attended the “National Unity March” and unveiled statutes and memorials in honor of those who helped thwart the coup.
A man carries flags with the picture of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a march to the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul on July 15, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Defying international calls to ease the crackdown, Erdogan vowed during the rally that he would reintroduce the death penalty if parliament approved it.
The European governments have bashed Erdogan for the sweeping post-coup purges and have warned that a return of the death penalty would mean an end to Turkey’s aspirations to join the European Union.
In a sign that Ankara has no plan to stop the crackdown, the government issued a decree on Friday, dismissing another 7,000 police, civil servants and academics from their jobs.