State of Emergency

Dunya Executive - - COVER PAGE - CANAN SAKARYA / ANKARA

Political necessity or economic catastrophe? The debate over OHAL is heating up

The deadline ends on April 19 for the state of emergency, which was announced on July 20, 2016 and has been extended six times to date. Government spokesman, Bekir Bozdag, drew attention to Turkey’s struggle against terrorism, domestically and abroad, and indicated that there will be an another extension by saying: “The need to extend the state of emergency is obvious.” MHP Chairman Bahceli also said that the extension for the state of emergency is a national obligation. CHP and Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD), who oppose the extension, are, according to Bahceli, driven by their own agendas and not able to understand the existential threat Turkey faces. “FETO (Gulenist Terrorist Organization) has been intertwined with the state for many years,” he said. “The only option is to cut it off completely. People who say that the state of emergency (OHAL) has to be removed and cheer for chaos are blind and irresponsible.”

The AK Party and the MHP are in agreement on extending the OHAL. The situation is different on the opposition front. Opposition parties see the most important step in the political arena as the abolition of the OHAL to ensure confidence and stability in the economy. The goal for them is democratization in the political arena and giving the Central Bank the freedom to prevent the rise in foreign exchange in the economy. CHP spokesmen say that the biggest support package for the economy would be the removal of the OHAL while HDP spokesmen say that the way to return to normalcy in the economy is removing OHAL. As these debates play out, the Prime Ministry’s proposal for prolonging the OHAL will be presented to the Parliament this week. With the votes of the AK Party and the MHP, it will be extended for the seventh time.

Is CHP’s cand date K l cdaroglu?

The presidential candidate of the AK Party and the MHP is Erdogan. The GOOD Party announced that their candidate is Meral Aksener. It is unclear who the CHP’s presidential candidate will be. So far, it has been said that it will be a name that will receive support from all segments of the opposition. Kilicdaroglu’s candidacy has remained mostly absent from the CHP’s agenda. But CHP Deputy Chairman and Party Spokesman, Bulent Tezcan, said that Kilicdaroglu is the most important political leader and actor in the current debate over democracy and freedoms. His words were interpreted as meaning the CHP’s candidate would be Kilicdaroglu. Critics in the AK Party say the CHP’s search for a candidate outside of the party shows how far it is from claiming ‘to be in power’. These comments from the political corridors will probably lead the CHP to name a candidate within the party.

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