Turkey’s Erdogan to lift state of emergency if re-elected

The state of emergency lets Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and the government bypass parliament in passing new laws and allows them to suspend rights and freedoms. Turkey’s election is scheduled on June 24. (Reuters)
Updated 14 June 2018
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Turkey’s Erdogan to lift state of emergency if re-elected

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said the state of emergency that has been in place since July 2016 will be lifted if he is elected in June 24 elections, but suggested it would be reinstated if the country faces further threats.
“Should I continue this task after June 24, the first thing we’ll do is, God willing, lift the state of emergency,” Erdogan said in an interview with 24 TV on Wednesday night.
“Lifting the state of emergency does not mean abolishing it completely not to come back. We’ll take whatever the toughest precaution is again when we see terror.”
The state of emergency lets Erdogan and the government bypass parliament in passing new laws and allows them to suspend rights and freedoms. It was declared shortly after a failed coup attempt in July 2016 and has been extended every three months since then.
More than 160,000 people have been detained under the emergency rule and a similar number of civil servants have been sacked from their jobs, the United Nations has said. Scores of media outlets have been shut and journalists and activists have been detained.
Critics say Erdogan is using the state of emergency as a pretext to quash dissent. Turkey has said the measures are necessary to fend off the security threats it faces and that the state of emergency does not interfere with the campaign.
Erdogan said in April that businesses should welcome the state of emergency because it guards against terrorism and prevents workers from going on strike.


Israeli planes strike Hamas targets in Gaza

Updated 18 min 22 sec ago
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Israeli planes strike Hamas targets in Gaza

  • The attacks targeted two Hamas military sites and a munitions manufacturing site
  • “Fire balloons” and kites carrying flammable material have become symbols of the Palestinian border protests in recent months

JERUSALEM: Israeli warplanes on Monday conducted strikes against nine Hamas “military targets” in the northern Gaza Strip in response to incendiary kites being sent into Israeli territory, the army said.
The attacks targeted two Hamas military sites and a munitions manufacturing site, the military said in a statement, without specifying whether the raids had resulted in casualties.
“Fire balloons” and kites carrying flammable material have become symbols of the Palestinian border protests in recent months.
The Israeli army on Saturday wounded two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip attempting to launch incendiary balloons across the border into Israel, officials said.
Since major border protests broke out at the end of March, more than 300 fires have devastated several thousand hectares of fields and shrubland, the Israeli fire service has said.
According to Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, 400 kites have been intercepted from some 600 launched since the start of the recent protests.
At least 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire in the same time span. No Israelis have been killed.
Palestinians are calling to return to the homes their families fled or were forced from in 1948 during the war surrounding the creation of Israel.
The Gaza Strip is controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas which Israel considers its chief enemy.
The two sides have fought three wars since 2008 and observe a tense cease-fire.