Turkey Moves To Extend State of Emergency

Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) decided to extend the state of emergency in a meeting on Monday, a day after a historic referendum that handed sweeping new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The MGK has no legislative power. But its nonbinding recommendations serve as a road map and guideline for many of the government decisions.

“We have decided to recommend the extension of the state of emergency, which is currently in place across the whole country, to ensure the continuity of measures to protect our democracy, the principle of rule of law, and the rights and freedoms of our citizens,” the MGK said in a statement after the meeting.

President Erdogan recently signaled his intention to maintain the state of emergency. Critics and opposition parties, however, are anxious over widespread human rights violations and lack of right for domestic legal remedies for purged public officials because of the state of emergency measures.

Turkish cabinet immediately convened after MGK meeting and signed a bill, sending it to Parliament. It is expected to be approved easily given that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) holds a majority in Parliament, and enjoys backing of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on major legislative issues.

Recently, AKP-MHP alliance helped steered a constitutional amendment envisaging a transition to the executive presidency through Parliament earlier this year.

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