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Pro-Kurdish HDP spokesman says state of emergency has nothing to do with democracy

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Ayhan Bilgen, spokesman of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), has argued that imposing state of emergency to ramp up the crackdown across the country following last week’s failed military coup attempt has nothing to do with democracy.

“Putschists, too, declare state of emergency  and say that they do it for democracy,” Bilgen said Thursday on his Twitter account, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks while announcing the 3-month state of emergency.

“When coup plotters succeed, as they did in Egypt, they impose a state of emergency and threaten people with death penalty. It is a unique to us to defend democracy and not to worry about the state of emergency. … Some people are happy because martial law was not imposed, as if state of emergency equals to advanced democracy.”

“This practice is certainly not against democracy, law and liberties. On the contrary, it is in the name of protecting and improving these values,” Erdoğan said on Wednesday. He claimed that the move was made in order to rapidly and effectively destroy the threat against rule of law and people’s fundamental rights.

A group of rebel soldiers, acting out of chain of command, attempted a military coup at around 10 p.m. last Friday, with tanks rolling onto the streets of Ankara and İstanbul and soldiers blocking the Bosphorus Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. The military’s claim of a takeover was announced by the state broadcaster TRT after rebel soldiers raided its building. The anchorwoman said the military imposed martial law and declared a curfew until further notice.

Hundreds of people, including civilians, were killed in clashes between police and rebel soldiers overnight. The Parliament, the presidential palace and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) headquarters were struck by military helicopters.

The Turkish government managed to suppressed the coup attempt and launched a large-scale crackdown across the country on media, public servants, judges, prosecutors and teachers, along with rebels within the army.

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