Dec 30 2017

Campaign to lift Turkey’s 17-month-long state of emergency

A pro-democracy organisation called Demokrasi için Birlik (United for Democracy) launched a campaign for the lifting of the state of emergency in Turkey.

It was declared in July 2016 after a failed coup attempt organised by a group of rouge army officials and bureaucrats. Many international observers criticised the government, saying anti-coup measures are violating basic rights.

Rıza Türmen, former European Court of Human Rights judge and a member of the group, said:

We believe that the first step to a democracy in Turkey is lifting the state of emergency, which the government plans to extend even longer. State of emergency removed the rule of law, the parliament and all the democratic mechanisms in Turkey. It became the baton of the one-man regime.

United for Democracy prepared a list of rights violations, economic impact and anti-democratic actions taken by the government during the state of emergency period:

 

  • 28 emergency decrees were issued, which amended hundreds of laws, however, only 5 of them were discussed in parliament. Legislative power of the Turkish Parliament was taken away.
  • 94 elected mayors were removed, and replaced by government-appointed officials. 44 per cent of the country's population is now served by mayors not elected by the people.
  • Public servants were unlawfully expelled from office.
  • Turkey fell to 99th place among 114 countries in the rule of law ranking.

 

  • Fight against corruption has been halted under the state of emergency.
  • The Turkish Lira depreciated 44% against the Euro and 36% against the Dollar.
  • Inflation rose from 4.7 per cent in July 2016 to 11.9 in November 2017.
  • Emergency rule paved the way for non-transparent public procurement, and allocation of permits to pro-government businesses.

 

  • 6 news agencies, 48 ​​newspapers, 20 magazines, 31 radio stations, 28 TV channels and 29 publishing houses were closed by the government.
  • State of emergency is used to silence opposition. Demonstrations are forbidden indefinitely. NGOs were closed down, festivals and culture-arts events were cancelled under the pretext of the state of emergency.
  • Any dissenting voice, LGBTI actions, environmental platforms, dismissed workers are suppressed with police violence.