Amid uncertainty, Turkish National Security Council advises to extend state of emergency

Published September 29th, 2016 - 10:00 GMT
A tank rolls down a major street in Ankara during the attemped coup on July 15. (AFP/File)
A tank rolls down a major street in Ankara during the attemped coup on July 15. (AFP/File)

Turkey's top security body advised Wednesday extending the country's ongoing state of emergency, according to initial reports from a meeting in the Turkish capital. 

The National Security Council, which convened Wednesday in Ankara under the chairmanship of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, made a number of statements on the July 15 coup attempt, Turkey's Syria policy and counter-terrorism. 

During the almost six-hour meeting, the council offered to extend the state of emergency beyond its initial three-month period. 

"It has been agreed to recommend to extend the state of emergency in order to ensure the continuity of the effective implementation of the measures aiming to protect our democracy, the rule of law and the rights and freedoms of our citizens," read the statement issued after meeting.

After the deadly coup attempt, which martyred more than 240 people and injured nearly 2,200 others, Turkey declared a state of emergency on July 20. 

According to the Turkish 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.

The National Security Council also insisted on a "terror-free zone" and a "no-fly zone" in northern Syria as well as giving July 15 a special designation. 

"It is recommended to declare July 15, the coup attempt by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), as a “Day of Democracy and Freedom” in Turkey," the statement said.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the original.

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