After two long years, Turkey on Wednesday will witness an end to the state of emergency. The state of emergency was imposed in Turkey after a failed military coup in 2016 and was then extended 7 times. Recep Erdogan, the President pledged to put an end to the state of emergency during his run to the President’s post and he would now be delivering upon his promise.
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The state of emergency usually lasts for 3 months but it was revised and extended 7 times to last for 2 years ultimately. Even though the Erdogan will be putting an end to the state of emergency living on his promises, the opposition in Turkey fears that even more repressive legislative measures will be slammed by the new government.
Recep Erdogan announced the state of emergency on July 20, 2016, after warplanes bombed Ankara. Following these attacks, extensive clashes broke out in Turkey and ended up claiming 249 lives. In the duration of the state of emergency, as many as 80000 people were detained while almost double the number of people lost their jobs after being sacked from public offices.
This state of emergency that lasted for 2 years marked the biggest purge in the modern day history of Turkey. During the state of emergency, many leftists and Kurdish activists too were targeted or detained besides the followers of Fethullah Gulen. Fethullah Gulen is a US-based preacher who was the main accused of the conspiracy to enact a coup.
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Amid all this, the opposition leaders have been angered by the bill presented in the parliament to formalize some of the harshest provisions of the emergency. The government recently submitted the new legislation in the parliament which the opposition fears will be harsh and repressive.
Republican People’s Party, the main opposition party in Turkey said that there is little difference between the state of emergency and the new legislation. The opposition feels that the new government is making it seem like the revocation of the state of emergency but they are actually continuing it.