EU voices concern over post-coup crackdown as Erdogan says state of emergency could be extended

By bne IntelliNews July 22, 2016

The European Union is following the developments regarding the state of emergency Turkey has declared after the attempted coup very closely and with concern, EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said on July 21.

“This declaration comes in the wake of the recent unacceptable decisions on the education system, judiciary and the media. We call on Turkish authorities to respect under any circumstances the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right of all individuals concerned to a fair trial”, Mogherini and Hahn said in a statement.

Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Reuters in an interview that there is no obstacle to extending the state of emergency beyond the initial three months. Under the state of emergency, the government and President Erdogan will be able to bypass parliament and rule the country by decree. Fundamental rights and freedoms could be restricted or suspended. Erdogan claims the purpose of the emergency is to fight swiftly and effectively with the terrorist organisation that is responsible for the failed coup.

Turkey's parliament approved on July 21 a bill declaring state of emergency with 346 votes in favour and 115 against. Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus assured that the government does not plan to declare curfew and said things would return to normal in less than three months. 

The developments are still keeping investors on the edge. The lira fell another 0.6% against the dollar on July 21 to trade at 3.0750, and the main stock exchange index, BIST-100, was down 4.4%.

Erdogan also told Reuters that a new putsch is possible but would not be easy because authorities are now more vigilant. He also admitted there were significant gaps and deficiencies in intelligence and he vowed to restructure the army, the second largest in NATO.

More than 6,000 soldiers and a third of the military’s 360 general have been detained in the wake of the coup attempt.

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