Turkey suspends human rights law to deal with coup plotters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. PHOTO: EPA
  • Announces three months state of emergency

A three-month state of emergency in Turkey, which authorities has said will enable them to take swift, effective action against those responsible for last week’s failed military coup, came into force on Thursday after it was published in the Official Gazette.
Turkey will follow France’s example in temporarily suspending the European Convention on Human Rights, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said.
President Tayyip Erdogan announced the three-month state of emergency late on Wednesday after launching mass purges of state institutions since the July 15 coup attempt by a faction within the military.
France declared its own state of emergency following last November’s attacks by Islamist militants in Paris.
More than 50,000 state employees – including 15,200 education ministry staff – have been detained or sacked since the Turkish coup attempt. On Wednesday, 21,000 teachers had their licenses revoked and 99 top military officers were charged for alleged ties with the plot.
Erdogan has claimed the threat from the coup “is not over” and urged his supporters to “work during the day, and come to the square at night.”
He said the move was in line with Turkey’s constitution and did not violate the rule of law or basic freedoms of Turkish citizens.
‘The aim of the declaration of the state of emergency is to be able to take fast and effective steps against this threat against democracy, the rule of law and rights and freedoms of our citizens,” Erdogan said.
In comments quoted by NTV, Kurtulmus also said Turkey’s state of emergency could end within one to one and a half months. He identified “structural and individual” intelligence failures during the coup attempt and also said that work was underway to restructure the army, NTV reported.
The president accuses a U.S.-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, of being behind the coup and the state broadcaster described his followers as being part of the ‘Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation.”
Gulen, who has many supporters in Turkey and abroad, denies the charge.
Erdogan made his announcement in a live television broadcast late on Wednesday evening in front of assembled government ministers after a meeting of the National Security Council that lasted nearly five hours.
The state of emergency allows the president and cabinet to bypass parliament in passing new laws and to limit or suspend rights and freedoms as they deem necessary.
Erdogan said regional governors would receive increased powers under the state of emergency, adding that the armed forces would work in line with government orders.

In numbers, sacked workers in Turkey after the failed coups
In numbers, sacked workers in Turkey after the failed coups