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Unity for Democracy Initiative to launch nationwide campaign for end of OHAL

The Unity for Democracy Initiative, which was established by a group of Turkish intellectuals, has decided to launch a nationwide campaign to ask for the termination of the state of emergency or OHAL, which was declared in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15.

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.

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, around 115,000 people have been purged from state bodies on coup charges.

According to Turkish media reports, the initiative will organize forums, signature campaigns, demonstrations and street events across the country with the slogan “Don’t extend [emergency rule].”

A member of the initiative, Binnaz Toprak, who is also a former deputy from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), told news outlets that the emergency rule which was declared for the arrest and trial of the perpetrators of the July 15 coup attempt went beyond its aim and turned into something targeting opponents of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

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