Turkey’s state of emergency was extended on Wednesday by another three months for the seventh time as the Turkish Parliament ratified a motion proposed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Parliament’s decision to extend the state of emergency one more time came just a day after the European Union in a report called on the Turkish government to lift the ongoing state of emergency without delay.
The European Commission released its most critical report yet on Turkey since the country launched its bid to join the EU over a decade ago. The commission warned that Turkey is taking “major steps” in the wrong direction and also that years of progress are being lost.
The ruling AKP and its ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voted in favor of the extension of the state of emergency, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) voted against. The seventh extension of the state of emergency will be in effect until July 18, 2018. Turkey is planning to hold parliamentary and presidential elections under the prolonged state of emergency, on June 24, 2018.
Emergency rule was first imposed by the Turkish government following a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and was extended on Oct. 19, 2016, Jan. 19, 2017, April 19, 2017, July 20, 2017, Oct. 17, 2017 and Jan. 18, 2018.
During emergency rule, the AKPhas 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.
The military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 killed 249 people and injured a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the AKP government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
(Stockholm Center for Freedom [SCF] with Turkish Minute)