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Turkish deputy PM: State of emergency to continue as long as necessary

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A state of emergency that Turkey declared in the wake of a botched coup attempt in July is going to continue, with Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş saying on Tuesday that it would remain in effect as long as necessary.

In response to a question as to whether the state of emergency (OHAL) would be lifted, Kurtulmuş said that even though as the government they would prefer to terminate it before a referendum on an executive presidency planned to be held in early 2017, no such decision has been made.

Kurtulmuş said the state of emergency was not declared for no reason but rather to fight against terrorist organizations.

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.

In early December, former President Abdullah Gül and Turkey’s largest business association TÜSİAD called for an end to emergency rule.

In addition, 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 that was declared in the aftermath of the 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.

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