Turkey extends emergency rule by 3 months

Turkey’s parliament voted on Tuesday in favor of extending emergency rule by a further three months, effective from January 19, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Emergency rule, first imposed in Turkey after an abortive military coup 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.

Turkey has formally arrested more than 40,000 people during the investigation of the coup, which it has blamed on Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and his followers. Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, denies any involvement.

More than 100,000 people in total, including soldiers, police officers, teachers, judges and journalists, have been suspended from their jobs over suspected links to Gulen and his movement.

The extension of emergency rule comes as Turkey reels from a series of deadly attacks by Islamist or Kurdish militants, most recently on Sunday when a lone gunman shot dead 39 people in a packed Istanbul nightclub during New Year celebrations. (Courtesy Reuters)