Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently announced that Turkey is now officially under a ‘State of Emergency’ in light of the country’s recent failed military coup attempt, which resulted in the death of at least 294 people.
President Erdogan claims that this declaration was necessary “in order to remove swiftly all the elements of the terrorist organization involved in the coup attempt.”
“I would like to underline that the declaration of the state of emergency has the sole purpose of taking the necessary measures, in the face of the terrorist threat that our country is facing,” said Erdogan, promising that the “virus in the military will be cleansed”.
The current constitution of Turkey allows for a state of emergency to be declared for up to six months. According to Erdogan, his intention is for the state of emergency to endure for at least 3 months.
Evidently, a state of emergency in Turkey allows the president to rule largely by his own decree, giving him power akin to that of a dictator’s.
Under this declaration, curfews can be enforced, media can be censored, and it is permitted for gatherings and large protests to be forcefully disbanded without consent.
This declaration also allows citizens to be subject to random searches and seizures without consent or any due process of the law.
Over 6,000 people have been arrested since the beginning of the immediate crackdown after the coup. 2,839 soldiers are currently being held in prison, along with 2,745 judges facing arrest.
President Erdogan has accused Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, founder of the Gulen movement, of being behind the coup. Gulen has denied any ties to the events that took place, but regardless, Erdogan continues to arrest any and all citizens suspected to be political dissidents and/or supporters of the Gulen movement.
The last state of emergency in Turkey was lifted in the year 2002, which was imposed during the fight against Kurdish armed groups, which began in 1987.
In a recent televised address, President Erdogan attempted to reassure the public that the power of the military will “not be expanded,” and that Turkey will emerge from this time of distress as a “stronger nation.”