Turkey again extends state of emergency

Turkish Parliament extends ongoing state of emergency for the seventh time.

Ben Ariel,

Flag of Turkey
Flag of Turkey

The Turkish Parliament on Wednesday extended the ongoing state of emergency for another three months, the Hurriyet daily newspaper reported.

This is the seventh time that the state of emergency has been extended. The last time was in January.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the three-month state of emergency on July 20, 2016, five days after the failed coup that summer, saying it would enable authorities to take swift action against those responsible for the putsch.

Wednesday’s extension means the upcoming early elections on June 24 will be held under the emergency rule despite widespread disapproval from opposition parties.

The state of emergency was extended with the votes of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), according to the Hurriyet.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesman Bülent Tezcan urged the government not to extend the state of emergency over worries that it would cast shadow over the elections.

“The state of emergency needs to be lifted immediately; you cannot hold elections during an emergency rule. The country needs to be brought out of the state of emergency now,” he said.

Ankara argues the state of emergency is needed to eradicate the influence in Turkish institutions of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who it blames for the failed coup. Gulen denies involvement in the attempted coup and condemned it. He has hinted that the uprising could have been “staged” by the government.

Gulen, who leads a popular movement called Hizmet from exile, split from Erdogan over a corruption scandal in 2013. Erdogan has long accused him of running a parallel state from abroad.