Turkish PM Yıldırım says the government to extend emergency rule

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has announced on Friday that Turkish government is planning to extend the state of emergency on July 18 after a decision of the the National Security Council (MGK) as the Turkish people are set to mark the first anniversary of the controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Prime Minister Yıldırım said that his government will demand the extension of the emergency rule from the parliament on July 18 as the current one expires on July 19 at a meeting with some Turkish media representatives,
“Of course, it will be lifted one day when conditions are appropriate but talking about a specific date would be wrong. These are issues to discussed and decided at the National Security Council (MGK),” he stated.

The MGK will be held on July 17 under the leadership of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other civilian and military officials to request an advisory decision for the extension of the state of emergency. The Parliament will convene on July 18 to discuss the extension of the emergency rule.

President Erdoğan has said during a commemoration event in Ankara on Wednesday held to mark the anniversary of the coup attempt that the state of emergency (OHAL) declared by the Turkish government immediately after a failed coup on July 15 might end in the near future. He has claimed that “Even if we have been implementing it [state of emergency] in a limited area, the state of emergency might end in a future that is not so far off.”

The Turkish government has become addicted to ruling the country under a state of emergency, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy leader Bülent Tezcan has said after Prime Minister Yıldırım hinted at the extension of the emergency rule next week. “Yıldırım has confirmed our July 20 hypothesis. They got used to ruling Turkey under the state of emergency. It has become like a drug addiction,” Tezcan said at a press conference on Friday.

“Of course, it will be lifted one day when conditions are appropriate. But talking about a specific date would be wrong. These are issues to be discussed and decided at the National Security Council [MGK],” Yıldırım had said.

The CHP has been criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) post-coup oppressions and calls it the “July 20 coup,” when the first period of the state of emergency was announced last year. “We will continue to fight against July 20. The state of emergency should be lifted immediately,” Tezcan said.

Emergency rule was declared for three months on July 2o, 2016. It was extended for another three months on October 19, 2016, January 19, 2017 and April 19, 2017.

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, thousands of people have been purged from state bodies on coup charges.

A controversial military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

According to a statement from Turkey’s Justice Ministry on July 13, a total of 50,510 people have been arrested while 169,013 others have been the subject of legal proceedings since the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 on coup charges.

July 14, 2017

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