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Friday, July 28, 2017, 

Turkey prepares to extend temporary state of emergency

Turkey prepares to extend temporary state of emergency

Ankara, 17 July 2017 (MIA) - Turkey is set to enter a second year under a state of emergency after the government requested its extension, media reports say.

Emergency rule had been due to expire on July 19, but a statement from the office of Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the cabinet had asked parliament to approve a further three months until mid-October.

Given the comfortable majority held by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the national assembly, the proposal is all but guaranteed to pass.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the imposition of extraordinary measures last July in the wake of last year’s aborted coup attempt, which saw rogue factions seek to topple the government by force, leaving 250 people dead. He said that would be a temporary measure while the state rooted out coup plotters and their supporters.

One year on, more than 150,000 people have been dismissed from their jobs and 50,000 arrested. Opposition parties and business groups have called for it to be lifted.

Speaking last week, however, Erdogan made clear that he wanted it to continue.

“There can be no question of lifting emergency rule with all this happening,” he said. “They ask when emergency rule will finish. It will finish when this business is completely out of the way.”

Mujtaba Rahman, managing director at the Eurasia Group, forecast that the state of emergency would last until presidential elections that are scheduled for 2019 but could take place sooner.

“Erdogan needs to win the next elections for his presidential reforms to acquire legal effect,” he said. “The state of emergency — and the additional powers it provides him — gives Erdogan comfort he will be able to achieve this. Today’s extension is no surprise; I expect it will keep being extended until elections take place, probably late next year.” lk/15:10

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