Ankara-Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday a three-month state of emergency in the country, and asserted that last Friday’s failed coup “might not be over” yet, accusing foreign states of being involved in the attempt to overthrow him.
During a press conference following a National Security Council meeting in Ankara Wednesday, Erdogan said: “The Council has decided to install a three-month state of emergency. This is a movement to clear terror members from state institutions to process democracy better.”
The president said: “The purpose of the state of emergency is to most effectively and swiftly take steps necessary to eliminate the threat to democracy in our country, the rule of law, and the rights and freedom of our citizens.”
Erdogan added that freedoms and the economy would not be affected by Turkey’s new measures.
Erdogan also said the coup “was not yet over, as there might be other plans linked to it,” without offering additional details.
The Turkish president did not rule out the possibility of foreign countries being involved in the failed attempt to overthrow him, but refused to name any.
He said he did not want to link the U.S. use of Turkey’s Incirlik airbase with Ankara’s request for the extradition of his foe Fethullah Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who lives in exile in the U.S. and who is accused by the president of standing behind the coup attempt.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had told The Washington Post newspaper that although the coup has failed, the threat was not completely over.
When asked about the Western concerns about Turkey’s use of excessive power during the cleanse campaigns which involved more than 50,000 members of the state institutions, Cavusoglu said: “It is us who faced this coup attempt, not the United States or the European Union. We have been trying to explain how dangerous this Gulen terrorist organization is. Some of (our) colleagues couldn’t understand and believe it, and some of them didn’t want to understand.”
On Wednesday, Turkey continued its cleansing campaign against plotters involved in last Friday’s coup attempt.
The Turkish authorities had blocked access to “WikiLeaks” website after emails from Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) were put online.
The Turkish Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday opening an investigation with the country’s entire military judges and prosecutors, including the suspension of 262 of them.
Also, the Public Prosecutor’s office in Ankara has placed under supervision 21 military judges working at the military court appeals, the military high administrative court and the Defense Ministry.
The Defense Ministry also suspended nine pilots from their duties.
Meanwhile, thousands of public personnel at the Turkish parliament and various ministries were also suspended from their duties.
Also, 257 personnel who were working at the offices of the prime minister’s additional building were suspended and their identities were taken. Those suspended included 230 reporters, 19 experts, six advisers and two legal advisers.
At the interior Ministry, 8,777 employees were suspended. At the Education Ministry, 15,200 other employees were also suspended while the ministry had revoked the licenses of 21,000 staff at private educational institutions.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had previously announced the suspension of more than 1,500 employees from the Finance Ministry.