Turkey coup sparks state of emergency


President Erdogan

Turkey’s president has declared a state of emergency for three months following Friday night’s failed army coup.

The emergency allows the president and cabinet to bypass parliament when drafting new laws and to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms.

Speaking at the presidential palace in Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that “all the viruses within the armed forces will be cleansed”.

Thousands of people have been arrested or sacked since the failed coup.

More than 600 schools have also been closed and thousands of state workers sacked in a crackdown by the president.

The state of emergency gives President Erdogan radically enhanced powers for three months.

He and the cabinet will be able to enact laws bypassing parliament; the constitutional court will be unable to challenge them; there could be restrictions on publications and freedom of assembly; and broader powers of arrest.

The government insists it will not affect the daily life of citizens and that the state of emergency will only root out the “virus” behind the coup. It points out that similar measures are in France since the Paris attacks last November. And President Erdogan says this actually aims to protect democracy and human rights.

But given the criticism of the president for curbing both while in office, doubts persist over how an increasingly authoritarian leader will use this, especially given the recent purges.

France and Germany have spoken out loudest but Mr. Erdogan has been typically forthright in his response, telling the French foreign minister to “mind his own business”.

“This measure is in no way against democracy, the law and freedoms,” said Mr. Erdogan after announcing the state of emergency.

The BBC’s Nick Thorpe in Turkey says that the government will be allowed to rule by decree, with the powers of regional governors increased.

Our correspondent says a re-organisation of the police, intelligence services and the command structure of the armed forces is also expected. -BBC

Print Friendly

Leave a Comment