Turkey to extend state of emergency until July 20

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced on Thursday that a currently ongoing state of emergency will be extended for three more months and remain in effect until July 20.

The state of emergency, known as OHAL, has been in force since July 20 of last year, after Turkey experienced a failed coup attempt on July 15.

OHAL was supposed to end on April 16. Emergency rule, which is criticized by human rights groups and the opposition for restricting rights and freedoms, was extended twice before, on Oct. 11 and Jan. 3.

Under emergency rule, the government has pressed ahead with many controversial decrees that have the force of the law and are not required to be approved by Parliament. In line with these decrees, over 135,000 people have been purged from state bodies on coup charges.

As of March 1, 93,248 people were being held without charge, with an additional 46,274 in pre-trial detention. A total of 7,316 academics were dismissed as 4,070 judges and prosecutors were purged over alleged coup involvement or terrorist links. (SCF with turkishminute.com) March 9, 2017

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