Turkey to extend state of emergency for another 3 months, says deputy pm

Turkey’s deputy prime minister Bekir Bozdag. (Reuters)
Updated 08 January 2018
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Turkey to extend state of emergency for another 3 months, says deputy pm

ANKARA: Turkey will extend the state of emergency imposed after the 2016 coup attempt for another three months, deputy prime minister Bekir Bozdag said on Monday, the sixth such extension of an emergency rule that has ushered in a sweeping crackdown.
Emergency rule allows the president and cabinet to bypass parliament in passing new laws and to limit or suspend rights and freedoms. More than 50,000 people have been arrested since its introduction and 150,000 have been sacked or suspended from their jobs in the military, public and private sectors.
The crackdown has alarmed rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies, who say president Tayyip Erdogan is using the arrests to quash dissent, pushing the NATO members on a path to greater authoritarianism.
“The state of emergency will be extended again,” Bozdag told reporters following a cabinet meeting. He said the national security council was due to discuss the extension and that the cabinet would later approve it.
The current period of the emergency rule is scheduled to end on January 19. With the latest three-month extension, Turkey will have completed more than a year and a half under emergency rule, which was imposed on July 20, 2016.
The government says the purges are necessary to confront security challenges facing Turkey and to root out supporters of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen who it says was behind the coup attempt. Gulen has denied any involvement.


Version of PM May’s deal can get through parliament: Hunt

Updated 15 December 2018
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Version of PM May’s deal can get through parliament: Hunt

  • May pulled a vote on her deal this week after acknowledging it would be heavily defeated over concerns about the divorce agreement’s “backstop”

LONDON: Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Saturday that the British parliament could back Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal if lawmakers received assurances from the European Union, but warned that a no deal Brexit was still on the table.
May pulled a vote on her deal this week after acknowledging it would be heavily defeated over concerns about the divorce agreement’s “backstop,” an insurance policy designed to avoid any hard land border for Ireland but which critics say could bind Britain to EU rules indefinitely.
“When the dust has settled, the only way we’re going to get this through the House of Commons ... is to have a version of the deal that the government has negotiated,” Hunt told BBC radio.
Following a summit in Brussels on Friday, May said it was possible that the EU could give further guarantees that the backstop would be temporary although the bloc’s other 27 leaders told her they would not renegotiate the treaty.
Hunt said the EU was likely to make concessions to avoid Britain leaving without any deal, a scenario that both sides say would be highly damaging for business and their economies.
“The EU cannot be sure that if they choose not to be helpful and flexible ... that we would not end up with no deal,” Hunt said. “We cannot in these negotiations take no deal off the table. I don’t think the EU could be remotely sure that if we don’t find a way through this we wouldn’t end up with no deal.”
The Times newspaper reported on Saturday that most of May’s senior ministerial team thought her deal was dead and were discussing a range of options including a second referendum.
“Brexit is in danger of getting stuck – and that is something that should worry us all,” pensions minister Amber Rudd wrote in the Daily Mail newspaper.
“If MPs (lawmakers) dig in against the Prime Minister’s deal and then hunker down in their different corners, none with a majority, the country will face serious trouble.”