Deputy PM says emergency rule to remain in effect as long as necessary

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Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmuş

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said a state of emergency that went into effect in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15 will continue as long as necessary.

Emergency rule was declared for three months on July 21. It was extended for another three months on Oct. 19 and will officially expire on Jan.19, 2017. However, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and government officials say emergency rule could be extended further.

“We want it to end immediately, but OHAL [state of emergency] will remain in effect as long as necessary. OHAL does not affect the daily lives of our citizens, but [illegal] power centers are being eliminated from the state. We hope OHAL is lifted before we go to a referendum [on an executive presidency] and we are done with our work,” Kurtulmuş told reporters after a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

Under emergency rule, the government has pressed ahead with many controversial decrees, which have the force of the law and are not required to be approved by Parliament. In line with these decrees, around 115,000 people have been purged from state bodies on coup charges.

In remarks that appeared in the Hürriyet daily on Monday, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said his government will abolish emergency rule before a referendum is held on executive presidency.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP)government and President Erdoğan are seeking to introduce an executive presidency in Turkey under which Erdoğan will enjoy more executive powers.

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