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Turkish parliament extends state of emergency into second year

Europe
17.07.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Istanbul (dpa) - Turkey‘s lawmakers voted on Monday to extend the country‘s state of emergency for a fourth time until October 19.

The state of emergency, put in place days after the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, grants the government wide-ranging powers, allowing it to rule by decree and carry out mass arrests and purges.

On Monday, the national security council, chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, proposed to the government to extend the state of emergency by three months.

Parliament had to approve it with a simple majority. Erdogan‘s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) dominates the house.

Erdogan said last week that the sweeping powers will only be lifted when "unrest ends," according to state-run Anadolu news agency.

Speaking in Parliament on Saturday, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the centre-left People‘s Republican Party (CHP), was critical of what he described as a "permanent" state of emergency, allowing the government to rule by decree.

The government blames the coup on a US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, and says the purges target his followers. Gulen denies all charges.

Around 150,000 people have been purged from their jobs in the public sector and military under emergency decrees. More than 50,000 people are in jail on allegations of having links to Gulen.

The crackdown also targets opponents of the government, including Kurdish activists, human rights groups and journalists.

More than 160 media workers and journalists are in jail in Turkey, though the government says they are all terrorists.

Separately, assets of 965 institutions - worth some 41 billion lira (11.3 billion dollars) - were seized by decrees issued under the state of emergency, according to the government.

 

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