May extend state of emergency for 10th time: Erdogan

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Ankara, April 22 (IANS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey may extend the state of emergency for the 10th time for the peace of the country when necessary.

“We will continue extending it for the peace of our country, for the eighth time, for the ninth time or for the 10th time, if necessary,” Xinhua quoted the President as saying.

The Turkish Parliament on Wednesday extended the state of emergency, imposed in the wake of a failed coup in 2016, for another three months for the seventh time.

Erdogan assured the business people that the emergency rule has only been used in the country’s fight against terrorism, saying it should be welcomed as it guards the interests of the business world by preventing labour strikes.

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“When our business people say the state of emergency should be lifted, it upsets us,” the President added.

The Turkish Industry and Business Association, the country’s main business institution, urged the government this week to lift the emergency rule and criticized Erdogan for setting snap elections for June.

Erdogan announced on Wednesday that Turkey will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 instead of November 2019 as originally scheduled.

Turkish troops are fighting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party and Syrian Kurdish militia, while the investigation into the coup bid and the crackdown are continuing.

Ankara has listed the network led by Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in the US, as a terror group for masterminding the 2016 putsch that left 250 people dead.

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–IANS

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