State of emergency won’t be lifted until peace is restored: Edogan

nsnbc : Turkey’s President and newly re-elected AKP party chief and “Head of State” R. Tayyip Erdogan confirmed rights activists fears when he said the state of emergency that was declared after the failed military coup in July 2016 will not be removed until peace is restored.

AKP_Erdogan_Ankara_May 2017Speaking on May 21, at the third extraordinary convention assembled to elect himself as the party chairman after a three-year break, Erdogan said:

“A state of emergency was declared in France when 15 terrorists arose. In my country, the state was attempted to be brought down. We have 249 martyrs and 2,193 veterans. How can you ask about the removal of the state of emergency? It will not be removed. Until when? Until we reach peace and prosperity. … What do you lack? Can you not go to your work? Or are schools closed? When we took office, there was also a state of emergency. Factories and workplaces had problems. No one could restore their economic situation. They told us to remove the state of emergency and we removed it in a month. We have extended the state of emergency for the peace of our country.”

State of emergency in Turkey - historians arrested for criticizing Atatürk - Turkey's new normal.

State of emergency in Turkey – historians arrested for criticizing Atatürk – Turkey’s new normal.

Even critics would have to admit that Erdogan made a valid point when he referred to the state of emergency in France. However, the fact that a state of emergency has become “the new normal” in France and Turkey – that is in two countries whose governments sponsored “rebel and or/terrorists” in Libya and Syria … – doesn’t exactly make the state of emergency more palatable in Turkey or in France. Moreover, considering Turkey’s military adventures in Syria it may take a long tome before there is peace – and a state of emergency may / or may not be lifted.

Turkey declared a state of emergency on July 20, 2016, after a failed military coup attributed to the U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fetullah Gülen and his network of organizations, described by Turkish authorities as the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ). However, actual evidence to link Gülen to the coup was sketchy at best. Moreover, the crackdown, the purges, waves of arrests and the state of emergency targeted Kurds in Turkey as least as much as people with links to Gülen, Hizmeth, and other Gülen linked organizations.

It is also noteworthy that the referendum that brought sweeping changes to Turkey’s constitution, introduced an executive presidential system and made Erdogan “Head of State” was held under emergency laws whith many members of the opposition, including MPs in prison, with campaigns and rallies being banned, and with a media that had been coopted and/or intimidated by the AKP government.

Police stand guard in Place de la Republique, Paris, don't exactly make the state of emergency in Turkey more palatable. Courtesy Rossignol/REUTERS

Militarized police in  Paris, don’t exactly make the state of emergency in Turkey more palatable. Courtesy Rossignol/REUTERS

The Turkish parliament approved on April 18 a three-month extension of the state of emergency. Ironically, while speaking at the party meeting and declaring that the state of emergency would be maintained, Erdogan also vowed for an advanced democracy and economy for the country. “The responsibility to shape the architecture of the new era is on our shoulders. We will run a two-fold program. One the one hand, we’ll move our democratic achievements forward, and on the other, we’ll take bigger steps for the development of our country,” he said.

Erdogan stood as the only, undistputed candidate for the leadership of the AKP to replace Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, after the April 16 referendum allowed the president to retain links to a political party. Erdogan joined the AKP on May 3. Meanwhile, Yıldırım will serve as the acting chairman of the AKP and stressed that he would be honored to step aside for Erdogan.

All cabinet members, AKP lawmakers, party management and provincial bodies attended the convention at the Ankara Arena Sports Center along with tens of thousands of voters who flocked to the capital Ankara in a bid to greet Erdogan’s leadership after a three-year break.

CH/L – nsnbc 22.05.2017

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