President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday that a state of emergency currently in force in Turkey will continue until it produces results, without specifying what the results are.
Speaking to reporters on his way back from a trip to Africa, Erdoğan claimed that holding a referendum to introduce an executive presidency in the country under the state of emergency could even create a comfortable environment. “There is no law stating that elections cannot be held under a state of emergency,” Erdoğan said in response to criticism that going to the ballot box under restricted rights and freedoms would not be healthy.
On Thursday the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Monitoring Committee expressed concern in a statement about the content of proposed constitutional reforms and the conditions under which a referendum will be held in Turkey in early April.
“The Monitoring Committee expresses serious doubts about the desirability of holding a referendum under the state of emergency and on-going security operations in southeast Turkey,” PACE said in a statement adopted in Strasbourg.
In a similar comment on the state of emergency, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said in Ankara on Thursday that the state of emergency which was declared following a failed coup attempt in July of last year would continue until all the faith-based Gülen movement, which the government accuses of being behind the coup attempt, is completely eliminated from state institutions.
FETÖ is a derogatory term for the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization, coined by President Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to refer to the Gülen movement, a global civil society movement inspired by the views of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.