Turkey to extend state of emergency for another 3 months

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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Bekir Bozdağ (Mehmet Murat Onel / Anadolu Agency)

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozdağ on Monday said an ongoing state of emergency will be extended for another three months, the sixth such extension since it was originally put in force in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

“It will probably be on the agenda of the next National Security Council meeting, and the Cabinet will extend the state of emergency at the following meeting. It will be in effect after it is debated in Parliament,” Bozdağ said during a press conference following a Cabinet meeting in Ankara.

The Turkish Parliament on Oct. 17 had extended the state of emergency for three more months.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voted in favor of the extension, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were against it.

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, close to 150,000 people have been purged from state bodies on coup charges.

Following the coup attempt last year, the AKP government declared emergency rule in Turkey, on July 20, 2016, which became effective with a government decree issued on July 23, 2016. It was extended five times for another three months on Oct. 19, Jan.19, April 19, July 20 and Oct. 17.

The AKP issued a number of government decrees through which tens of thousands of academics, politicians, teachers, doctors, officials, businessmen, artists and journalists have been purged due to their real or alleged connections to the Gülen movement as well as opponents from liberal and left groups in Turkey.

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