State of Emergency Extended for 3 Months in Turkey

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, delivers a speech during a rally of supporters a day after the referendum, outside the Presidential Palace, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, April 17, 2017. Turkey’s main opposition party urged the country’s electoral board Monday to cancel the results of a landmark referendum that granted sweeping new powers to Erdogan, citing what it called substantial voting irregularities. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Turkey’s parliament has approved a three-month extension of the state of emergency declared in the wake of last year’s failed coup.

Government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus told parliament Tuesday that the state of emergency serves to purge the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Turkey blames Gulen and his supporters for orchestrating the July 15 coup attempt, a charge he denies.

The state of emergency allows the government to rule by decrees.

Kurtulmus says the unusual powers are needed to effectively combat Kurdish militants, the Islamic State group and other threats from Syria. He says it has not negatively affected the public.

An estimated 100,000 people have been dismissed from their jobs with decrees and more than 40,000 arrested since the state of emergency came into effect on July 21.

Source: Associated Press