Jun 26 2018

AKP ally MHP opposes lifting of Turkey's emergency rule

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may revoke a key election promise of lifting emergency rule as his ruling party’s coalition partner opposed lifting it.

The Nationalist Action Party (MHP) wants the state of emergency to remain in place “for a little while longer” because of the threat posed by the Fethullah Gulen movement and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), MHP deputy leader Mustafa Kalayci said in an interview with CNN Turk television.

Erdoğan introduced emergency rule in July 2016 in response to a failed military coup that his government has blamed on Gulen, an elderly Islamic preacher who resides in the United States. Police and prosecutors have since rounded up tens of thousands of Gulen’s followers, as well as other opposition figures, who include academics, journalists and state employees.

Investors, as well as the European Union and human rights groups, have called on Turkey to lift emergency rule saying it hurts the economy and damages Turkey’s already poor human rights record.

The AKP, which had promised to lift the emergency measures immediately after the elections, said on Monday that it planned to start taking steps, but did not provide a time frame.

Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) won dual presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday. The AKP failed to win a majority in Turkey’s 600-member parliament and will form a coalition with the MHP, its partner in an election alliance.