ANKARA (AFP): The Turkish government Monday said plans to extend the state of emergency imposed after the 2016 failed coup for the sixth time, despite criticism that it is used to target Ankara’s critics.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said the state of emergency will be “extended one more time” for three months and would be discussed at the next National Security Council (MGK) meeting. The latest extension is set to end on January 19.
The MGK will have to first recommend the move and the subject will again return to the cabinet, Bozdag told reporters in Ankara after a ministers’ meeting chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The parliament then has to formally approve the extension.
The emergency was introduced a few days after the attempted overthrow of Erdogan on July 15, 2016, blamed on the group led by US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.
Gulen denies the charges but authorities have used the emergency measures to crack down on those alleged to have links to his movement as well as outlawed Kurdish militants.
Since the attempted coup, over 55,000 people have been arrested while more than 140,000 public sector workers, including judges and teachers, have been suspended or sacked.