UPDATE - Turkey extends state of emergency for 3 more months

UPDATE - Turkey extends state of emergency for 3 more months

Ruling AK Party and opposition MHP vote in favor of extension, while main opposition CHP and HDP oppose it in parliament


By Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) - The parliament on Tuesday extended the ongoing state of emergency in Turkey for three more months.

The general assembly approved the Prime Ministry’s motion calling for the extension, which would become effective as of Thursday, 1 a.m. (2200 GMT).

The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had voted in favor of the extension, while main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and People's Democratic Party (HDP) opposed it.

Addressing the general assembly on Tuesday, Deputy Premier Bekir Bozdag backed the extension and said Turkey would continue to fight against terrorist organizations, including Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the PKK and Daesh under the state of emergency.

"The state of emergency will end as soon as certain necessary conditions are met," Bozdag said.

“The extension in the state of emergency would annoy terrorist organizations, including the PKK, FETO and DHKP-C. Because the state of emergency is being carried out quickly and distinctly for them.

“Those who support such terrorist organization would also be disturbed."

He urged the parliament to stay united in the fight against FETO.

- State of emergency 'necessary'

"The fighting with FETO should be the common fight of the nation and the Turkish parliament," he added.

Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) parliamentary deputy group chair said the state of emergency was "necessary" for Turkey's fight against terrorism.

"The owners of subcontractor FETO are still continuing to threat Turkey's territorial integrity while supporting terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq," Erkan Akcay said.

Referring to last year’s defeated coup, Akcay said: "July 15 was an attempt at occupation of Turkey."

The MHP has backed the extension of state of emergency since it was first proclaimed after the deadly coup bid.

CHP lawmaker Onursal Adiguzel said the parliament had not surrendered to FETO traitors.

"We will continue to stand against every kind of terrorism."

About why his party did not back the extension of state of emergency, Adiguzel said the move was not be a solution to Turkey's issues.

- Need for 'common mind'

"Turkey's need is not the state of emergency but the protection of the rights of 80 million [Turkish] people under this roof [of parliament]," he said.

"The salvation of Turkey is in the domination of a common mind."

The CHP wants the ongoing state of emergency to end soon.

According to the Constitution, a state of emergency can be declared for a maximum period of six months.

To enact the state of emergency, the government must see serious indications of widespread violence that could interfere with Turkey's democratic environment or its citizens' basic rights and freedoms as established by the Constitution.

Turkey declared a state of emergency for the first time on July 20 last year following a deadly coup attempt by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary. During the state of emergency, the Cabinet has the right to issue statutory decrees under the president of the Republic without regard to routine procedures and restrictions in Article 91 of the country’s Constitution.

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