Spokesperson: EU monitoring emergency rule implications in Turkey

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A European Union spokesperson on Wednesday said the EU is monitoring the practical implications of a state of emergency declared in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

The Turkish Parliament this week extended for three more months the state of emergency, known as OHAL, which has been in force since July 20 of last year after the putsch and would normally have expired on July 19.

Underlining the significance of respect for the rule of law, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the right of all individuals to a fair trial in Turkey, the EU spokesperson said: “EU will continue to monitor the situation very closely, including the practical implications of the state of emergency. In this regard, it is crucial to ensure that the State of Emergency Inquiry Commission functions effectively.”

The State of Emergency Inquiry Commission was recently established to accept complaints regarding dismissals under decree-laws. The commission will operate for two years, starting from the date when state decree No. 685, went into effect. It will be extended on a yearly basis if the Cabinet considers it necessary.

The EU has been calling on Turkey to end the state of emergency since last fall. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) strongly oppose the state of emergency.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan supports the continuation of emergency rule despite widespread criticism. He recently said the state of emergency would continue as long as the fight against terrorism continues.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed about 160,000 judges, teachers, academics, police and civil servants since July 15.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 are the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup attempt.

The state of emergency will remain in effect until at least Oct. 19.

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