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Erdogan announces state of emergency in Turkey

Jul 21, 2016, 1:05 AM EDT
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
(Source: Presidencia de la República Mexicana/flickr)

Amid a widening crackdown on thousands of state workers suspected to be involved in a failed coup attempt in Turkey last week, the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a state of emergency for three months on Wednesday. Erdogan assured that Turkey will “remain within a democratic parliamentary system,” saying that the latest measure would allow his government to take swift actions against the supporters of the attempted coup.

The announcement came after a nearly five-hour meeting of the National Security Council and the cabinet in Ankara. The declaration of emergency has deepened the concerns about restrictions on freedoms and rights in Turkey, notes the BBC. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called on Ankara to maintain both the rule of law and a sense of proportionality in dealing with the suspected plotters and backers of the coup bid.

Turkey’s crackdown has been marked by a slew of sweeping measures that spark widespread fear of authoritarianism, writes The Guardian. About 60,000 bureaucrats, soldiers, policemen, prosecutors and academic staff have been detained, sacked or suspended since Friday.

On Wednesday, the government imposed a work travel ban on academics, a move aimed at preventing suspected accomplices from fleeing the country, reports Reuters. Turkey has also revoked the press credentials of 34 journalists, accusing them of supporting a U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, the alleged plotter of the coup attempt.