Turkey ends state of emergency

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by his wife Emine Erdogan, makes a speech during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bekta

Istanbul (Reuters) – Turkey’s state of emergency which was imposed after the failed 2016 coup came to an end yesterday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared the state of emergency on July 20, 2016, five days after bloody clashes broke out in Istanbul in a doomed putsch bid that claimed 249 lives.

The measure, which normally lasts three months but was extended seven times, ended at 1:00 am yesterday (2200 GMT Wednesday).

The state of emergency saw the detention of some 80,000 people and about double that number sacked from jobs in public institutions.

During last month’s presidential election campaign, which he won, Mr Erdogan pledged that the state of emergency would end.

But the opposition has been angered by the government’s submission of new legislation to parliament that apparently seeks to formalise some of the harshest aspects of the emergency. The bill will be discussed in plenary session on Monday.

Under the proposed legislation:

• the authorities will retain for three more years the power to sack civil servants deemed linked to “terror” groups, retaining a key power of the state of emergency;

• protests and gatherings will be banned in open public areas after sunset, although they can be authorised until midnight if they do not disturb the public order;

• local authorities will be able to prohibit individuals from entering or leaving a defined area for 15 days on security grounds; and

• a suspect can be held without charge for 48 hours or up to 4 days in case of multiple offences.

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