Turkey ex­tends emer­gency rule over cleric

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

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.

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