Turkey to extend state of emergency for 3 more months
7th extension of post-defeated coup state of emergency to come into effect on April 19 if parliament approves
By Sorwar Alam and Sena Guler
Turkey’s Cabinet on Tuesday sent parliament a motion to extend the country's state of emergency for three more months, said Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozdag.
Speaking at news conference after the Cabinet meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Bozdag said the state of emergency is targeted at terrorists and terror groups, not peaceful citizens in Turkey.
Cabinet passed the motion as recommended by Turkey’s National Security Council, said Bozdag, adding that after approval from parliament, the seventh extension of the state of emergency will come into effect on April 19.
Turkey declared a state of emergency for the first time on July 20, 2016, following a defeated coup carried out by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Greece should cease 'provocative actions in the Aegean'
Bozdag also called on Greek authorities “to give up provocative and aggressive acts to avoid undesired incidents around the Aegean islands.”
He underlined that Turkey’s stance on disputed islands in the Aegean is clear, and added: “No one should expect Turkey to allow faits accompli in the Aegean.”
His statement followed reports that Greek youths late Sunday tried to plant a flag on an islet near Didim, southwestern Turkey, the latest in a string of similar incidents.
In February, a Turkish patrol boat rammed into a Greek Coast Guard patrol boat near the Kardak islets in the southeastern Aegean.
In January, the Turkish Coast Guard blocked Greece’s defense minister from approaching Kardak to lay a wreath there.
In 1996, a decades-long dispute between Turkey and Greece over uninhabited Aegean islets brought the two countries to the brink of armed conflict.
EU Commission report on Turkey
On the EU’s report on membership candidate Turkey released on Tuesday, Bozdag acknowledged that the report has some positive statements, but added: “They cannot make up for the injustices towards Turkey.”
In its 2018 report on Turkey, the European Commission praised Turkey’s migration policy, economic growth, and strengthening regional cooperation, but also claimed "serious backsliding on the rule of law, fundamental freedoms and freedom of expression."
Bozdag stressed that the EU has many full member states which fall short of meeting the EU criteria, yet EU officials resist taking positive steps towards Turkey despite its good economic, judicial, and political conditions.
“Full membership in the EU is an unchanged goal for Turkey,” he added.
Separately, Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik postponed a scheduled press briefing on the EU Commission report on Wednesday, according to ministry sources.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.