Turkey’s economy minister: I want no more states of emergency

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Nihat Zeybekçi

Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi said on Thursday that he does not want another extension of a state of emergency that was declared following a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15.

Emergency rule was extended for three months in October and is due to end on Jan. 20.

Speaking during a meeting of a parliamentary commission on Thursday, Zeybekçi said Turkey is going through a difficult political and economic period like most of other countries of the world.

I am speaking as the economy minister of the Republic of Turkey. I don’t want the state of emergency. I want everything in Turkey to be normal. If Turkey overcomes every problem [such as] the fight against terror, this treason [coup attempt] … I also don’t want [the state of emergency to continue]. I am speaking very openly. I don’t want another extension,” he said.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement, a global civil society movement inspired by the views of the US-based Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen.

The government, under an emergency decree, decided to take over hundreds companies, seized the assets of businessmen and shut down institutions linked with the movement.

Despite the fact that Gülen denied the accusation and called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the Turkish government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

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