Turkey’s parliament voted overnight to extend emergency rule by three months in a move which the government said was needed to sustain a purge of supporters of the U.S.-based Muslim Cleric accused of orchestrating July’s failed coup.
This was disclosed on Wednesday in Istanbul by the state media.
Emergency rule, first imposed in Turkey after an attempted putsch on July 15 and then extended in October, enabled government to bypass parliament in enacting new laws and to limit or suspend rights and freedoms when deemed necessary.
It said the extension, effective from January19, came as Turkey reels from a series of attacks by Islamist or Kurdish militants, most recently on Sunday when a lone gunman shot dead 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub during New Year celebrations.
Ankara accuses Pennsylvania-based preacher, Fethullah Gulen, and his supporters, whom it terms the Gulenist Terror Organisation (FETO), of being behind the July coup attempt.
Gulen denies the allegations.
Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus, said in parliament ahead of the vote that the purge of FETO from the state has not been completed.
He stressed the need to implement the emergency rule until FETO and all terror groups have been purged from the state.
“More than 41,000 people have been jailed pending trial in connection with the attempted coup out of 100,000 who have faced investigation.
“Some 120,000 people, including soldiers, police officers, teachers, judges and journalists, have been suspended or dismissed since the coup, although thousands of them have since been restored to their posts,” he said.