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Turkey extends emergency for 90 days

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan / AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan / AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER

Turkey will maintain the state of emergency imposed in the wake of July’s failed coup for another three months starting from October 19, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Monday.

“The state of emergency will be extended for another 90 days starting October 19,” Kurtulmus told a news conference after a weekly cabinet meeting.

The government has launched a vast crackdown to hunt down suspects in the failed putsch, blamed by authorities on US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied he was involved in the coup bid.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week said it may be necessary to keep the state of emergency for at least a year.

Erdogan defended Turkey’s actions by pointing to how France has extended its emergency declaration since the Islamic State-claimed attacks on Paris in November.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has accused the government of seeking to capitalise on the coup to stifle dissent, with the party leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu lashing out at a “counter coup” targeting democracy.

Some 32,000 suspects had been remanded in custody so far for alleged links to Gulen, according to the justice ministry.

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