Jan 18 2018

Turkey extends emergency rule sixth time as business lobby calls for end

The Turkish Parliament has voted to extend the state of emergency for a sixth time since it was declared after the July 2016 coup attempt, while the country’s main business lobby called on the government to end it.

To preserve its international reputation, Turkey needs to start normalising rapidly, Erol Bilecik, the head of the TUSIAD business lobby was quoted by Reuters as saying.

“The first step in that regard is bringing an end to the state of emergency,” Bilecik said.

“As Turkey takes steps towards becoming a state of law, direct investments will increase, growth will accelerate, more jobs will be created,” Tuncay Özilhan, another senior executive at TUSIAD was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The state of emergency has negatively impacted foreign investors’ decisions, Özilhan said.

The government says the emergency rule is necessary for Turkey’s security. The country suffered 240 casualties during the failed coup on July 15-16, 2016.

Emergency rule allows the government to bypass parliament and avoid judicial review in its executive acts.

Some 30 decree laws have been issued under the country’s 18-month-long state of emergency, containing 1,194 articles that create or amend laws and regulations on defence, security, the judiciary, education and health, Reuters said, a move that “widely restructures the relationship between the state and the citizen.”

Critics say Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's is using the emergency rule to silence dissent in a push towards authoritarianism. One hundred and fourty eight media outlets and 19 labour unions have been shut down during the stte of emergency, and more than 150,000 people sacked or suspended from their jobs.