Turkey extends emergency rule over cleric
Turkey’s parliament voted overnight to extend emergency rule by three months in a move which the government said was needed to sustain a purge of supporters of the US-based Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating July’s failed coup.
Emergency rule, first imposed in Turkey after an attempted putsch on July 15 and then extended in October, enables the government to bypass parliament in enacting new laws and to limit or suspend rights and freedoms when deemed necessary.
The extension, effective from January 19, comes as Turkey reels from a series of attacks by Islamist or Kurdish militants, most recently on Sunday when a lone gunman shot dead 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub during New Year celebrations.
Ankara accuses Pennsylvania-based preacher Fethullah Gulen and his supporters, whom it terms the Gulenist Terror Organisation, of being behind the July coup attempt. Gulen denies the allegations.