Turkey extends state of emergency as referendum result is challenged

Published April 18th, 2017 - 01:00 GMT
The news comes two days after Erdogan claimed victory in a referendum granting his office sweeping new powers and reducing the role of parliament. (AFP)
The news comes two days after Erdogan claimed victory in a referendum granting his office sweeping new powers and reducing the role of parliament. (AFP)

Turkey's ongoing state of emergency is due to be extended by the country's parliament on Tuesday, two days after a majority of voters chose to grant greater powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The step was approved by the cabinet on Monday and is widely expected to pass in parliament, where Erdogan's Islamic-conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) has an absolute majority.

Extending the state of emergency "would further endanger human rights and the rule of law, which have already been badly damaged in Turkey," Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement released Tuesday.

The emergency laws first went into effect in July of last year after a failed coup, which Erdogan blames on the followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. They have been extended every three months since then.

A large number of executive decrees hinge on the state of emergency, including those that facilitated purges of the civil service and the imprisonment of tens of thousands of alleged Gulen supporters.

The news comes two days after Erdogan claimed victory in a referendum granting his office sweeping new powers and reducing the role of parliament.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has claimed that there was an "unlevel playing field" in the period before the vote.

"Erdogan and the government should respond to the (OSCE's) concerns ... and ensure that future voting is held in a climate that fully respects democratic standards," said Hugh Williamson of HRW.

Turkey's main opposition party, the People's Republican Party (CHP), plans to formally challenge to referendum result on the basis of a controversial ruling, made while voting was under way, to accept ballots in envelopes not bearing official polling station stamps.

CHP lawmaker Sezgin Tanrikulu told dpa that the party's motion would be filed with the election commission later on Tuesday.

Experts say the CHP's motion has little chance of success.

 

© 2022 dpa GmbH

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