Turkish gov’t seeks extension of emergency rule for another 3 months

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group deputy chairperson and Kayseri deputy Mustafa Elitaş said on Friday that emergency rule will be extended in Turkey for another three months, Turkish media reported on Friday.

According to the CNN Türk news website, the extension of emergency rule will first be discussed on Oct. 16 at a meeting of the National Security Council (MGK) chaired by autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the presidential palace in Ankara. This will be followed by a recommendation that will be sent to Parliament and a motion from the government for its continuance.

“There is a possibility that the motion to extend the state of emergency could be debated on Tuesday [Oct. 17] or Wednesday [Oct. 18],” Elitaş told the state-run Anadolu Agency.

Meanwhile, Turkish Minister of Development Lütfi Elvan has said the state of emergency will be enforced only against the Gülen movement, CNN Türk reported on Saturday. “The unity of our county is above everything else. We do not have any other country to go to. We will together save our country and nation,” Elvan said in İzmir.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein in September expressed concern about the deterioration of human rights in Turkey and urged the Turkish government not to renew a state of emergency that was declared immediately after a botched coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

People in Turkey accused of links to terrorism or to the 2016 military coup attempt have been tortured in police custody, while others have been abducted, amidst growing evidence of detention abuses, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released on Thursday.

According to the Turkish Constitution, a state of emergency can be declared for a maximum period of six months.

The European Union has been calling on Turkey to end the state of emergency since last fall. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) strongly oppose the state of emergency.

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, close to 150,000 people have been purged from state bodies on coup charges.

Following a failed coup attempt last year, the ruling AKP government declared emergency rule in Turkey, on July 20, 2016, which became effective with a government decree issued on July 23, 2016. It was extended three times for another three months on Oct. 19, Jan.19, April 19 and July 20.

The AKP issued a number of government decrees through which tens of thousands of academics, politicians, teachers, doctors, officials, businessmen, artists and journalists have been purged due to their real or alleged connections to the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of being behind the failed coup. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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