Turkish government seeks three-month extension to emergency rule
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ANKARA, July 17 — The Turkish government asked parliament today to extend emergency rule for another three months, almost a year after it was imposed in the wake of last July’s failed military coup.
The request is expected to be approved by parliament, where President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party has a comfortable majority. It followed weekend ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the abortive coup in which around 250 people were killed.
Since emergency rule was imposed on July 20 last year, more than 50,000 people have been arrested and 150,000 people have been suspended in a crackdown which Erdogan’s opponents say has pushed Turkey on a path to greater authoritarianism.
The government says the purge is necessary to confront security challenges facing Turkey and to root out supporters of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen who it says was behind the coup attempt. Gulen has denied any involvement.
In a series of public ceremonies to mourn people killed in the coup attempt and celebrate those who thwarted it, Erdogan defiantly stepped up his condemnation of the European Union and said he would bring back the death penalty if parliament approved it.
Ties with the West were strained when European governments voiced alarm at the scale of the crackdown, which continues. Another 7,000 police, civil servants and academics were dismissed last week according to a decree published on Friday.
A statement from Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s office said the cabinet requested that parliament extend emergency rule by three months from Wednesday. — Reuters