Erdogan Declares three-month long State of Emergency

Yesterday, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced a three-month long state of emergency as a response to the failed coup attempt of July 15. Today, the President’s decision was published in the Official Gazette and went into force.

(Image by Martin Kramer/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

According to Erdogan, the reason for the state of emergency is Turkey’s effort to combat terrorism; Erdogan noted that the state of emergency is in line with the Turkish Constitution, saying: “The purpose of the state of emergency is to most effectively and swiftly take steps necessary to eliminate the threat to democracy in our country, the rule of law, and the rights and freedom of our citizens”.

“Europe has no right to criticize this decision”, Erdogan added.

According to the Turkish law, the government ministers will be handling the state of emergency. The state of emergency grants the government special powers such as extended detention periods for suspects of over 48 hours, imposing curfews, rights to conduct body and property searches, banning media, speeches, pictures, films, etc.

Today, the Turkish parliament will discuss the motion for the state of emergency. However, the state of emergency which went into force following its publication in the Official Gazette will enable President Erdogan and the government to bypass parliament in the passing of new laws.

The announcement of the three-month long state of emergency caused international concern; yesterday in a written statement German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged Turkey to restrict the state of emergency to only a necessary length of time.

Hurriyet daily reported today, citing senior government officials, that Turkey will temporarily suspend the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). According to the report, the Vice-Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus announced the suspension of the ECHR, comparing that decision with the decision of the French government.

Dejan Scepanovic

Based in Bosnia and Herzegovina. BA in political science. Columnist.