Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus on Monday said that the government will extend its state of emergency for another three months. The emergency, which is scheduled to end on October 19, will now be in effect till mid-January.
Kurtulmus said the decision was taken following the advice of the National Security Council and added that they will "fight against all terror organisations."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had hinted at possibly extending the state of emergency last week. The emergency allows Erdogan to rule by decree and make decisions that cannot be challenged even by the Constitutional Court, Turkey’s highest legal body.
The Turkish Constitution allows a state of emergency to be in place for maximum six months, but it also has provisions to extend it, reported local Anadolu news agency. On July 20, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had declared a state of emergency five days after a section of the Turkish military attempted a coup in Istanbul and Ankara, the capital. The coup left 161 people dead and 1,440 wounded.
After the emergency was declared, the government has arrested scores of people including doctors, teachers, journalists and military commanders. In August, the government was set to release around 38,000 prisoners to make prison space for thousands who have been arrested in connection with attempted coup.
Regarding the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, who Turkey claimed masterminded the July 15 strike, Deputy Prime Minister Kurtulmus said they are still negotiating with United States authorities. Erdogan had accused the Islamic preacher of plotting the coup also acted against people with suspected links to Gulen.