Turkish body urges state of emergency extension

2017-04-18 05:07
(Lefteris Pitarakis, AP)

(Lefteris Pitarakis, AP)

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Ankara - Turkey's National Security Council is recommending an extension to the state of emergency, declared following a failed coup last summer.

The council announced its recommendation "to ensure the continuity of precautions to protect the principle of the state of law and the rights and freedoms of our citizens." It didn't specify a timeframe. The state of emergency was to expire on April 19.

The move comes a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan narrowly won a referendum on expanding his powers.

Expanding powers

Turkey imposed the state of emergency to crack down on the network of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused of orchestrating the July 15 coup attempt. Gulen denies any involvement.

If approved, it will be the third extension of the state of emergency in Turkey.

Erdogan earlier renewed suggestions that the country could hold referendums on its bid to join the European Union and on reinstating the death penalty.

He made the comment while addressing supporters in Ankara a day after winning the referendum on expanding the powers of his office.

Erdogan said he isn't concerned about possible EU objections to Turkey's restoring capital punishment.

Series of irregularities

He accused the EU of keeping Turkey "waiting at the gates for 54 years," adding that a referendum could be held on whether Turkey should proceed with the accession process.

Erdogan said that "the decision is the people's. We'd go to our nation."

Meanwhile hundreds of people were demonstrating in Istanbul, protesting the narrow win of the president.

Holding banners reading "No, We will win" and chanting "thief, murderer, Erdogan," demonstrators marched through the neighborhoods of Besiktas on the European side of Istanbul and Kadikoy on the Asian side.

Opposition parties have called for the referendum to be annulled, complaining of a series of irregularities in the vote.

Read more on:    recep tayyip erdogan  |  turkey

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