Turkey intends to extend post-coup state of emergency
Turkey's government intends to extend by another three months the state of emergency that was declared following a failed military coup.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters after a Cabinet meeting on Monday that Turkey's National Security Council would discuss prolonging the state of emergency for a sixth time this month before seeking approval in Parliament.
The current state of emergency is set to expire on Jan. 19, and the coming extension will be the sixth since the initial declaration in 2016.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during a reopening ceremony for the historical Bulgarian Sveti Stefan Church or " Iron Church " in Istanbul, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. [Photo: AP/Yasin Bulbul]
The state of emergency has allowed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government to launch a massive crackdown on suspected foes. Nearly 50,000 people have been arrested for alleged links to the July 2016 coup attempt.
Critics say the government has used its emergency powers to go after all opponents, including politicians, journalists and activists, and to often bypass lawmakers by ruling through decrees.
The extension of the state of emergency has to be approved by the Turkish parliament, where the ruling Justice and Development Party holds 316 of 550 seats.