Turkey State of Emergency
Turks woke up on Thursday to a three month state of emergency after an attempted military coup to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed. The emergency is set to give the President and his Cabinet new powers that Erdogan himself says will help them tackle the looming threat to democracy in the country.
However, most rights groups and western leader view this act as just the opposite as it will deny most people as well as media outlets their democratic freedoms.
Some of the measures that the government can legally restrict under the state of emergency include but are not limited to restrictions on the public such as imposing curfews as well as declaring some public and private areas off limits. The President can also take over all the roles and responsibilities of the Prime Minister if he so wished. The press as well as NGO can also be restricted and given limited access to media be it TV or radio.
However, a spokesman for the President said that the state of emergency would not mean a crackdown on the media.
But even before the state of emergency was declared the government had banned a magazine from printing its edition on the coup and revoked licenses for 24 broadcasters who they claimed were linked to cleric Fethullah Gulen, the man accused of masterminding the coup.
So far the government has not taken any orders against the NGOs.
The Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told CNN that one tool that can be used in scrapping of appeals of court decision is to put the coup culprits on trial. "That is really the primary goal…that these people who have been involved in this coup attempt and killed people, murdered people basically on the streets, will be put on trial without any chance of coming back to the state bureaucracy again.”
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said that the move does not amount to martial law since the government is not handing over the power to rule to the military. "It is still in civilian hands and it is only here to get rid of the Fethullah Terror organization and its tentacles.” Further, stating that if they had other options apart from the state of emergency, they would use them.