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Thursday, July 21, 2016, 15:16

State of emergency comes into force in Turkey

By Reuters

State of emergency comes into force in Turkey
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference following the National Security Council and cabinet meetings at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, July 20, 2016. (ADEM ALTAN / AFP)
ISTANBUL - A three-month state of emergency in Turkey, which authorities say will enable them to take swift, effective action against those responsible for last week's failed military coup, came into force on Thursday after it was published in the Official Gazette.

The state of emergency began at 1 am (2200 GMT on Wednesday).

President Tayyip Erdogan, who has launched mass purges of state institutions since the July 15 coup attempt, said the emergency was fully in line with Turkey's constitution and did not violate the rule of law or basic freedoms of citizens.

The state of emergency will allow the president and cabinet to bypass parliament in passing new laws and to limit or suspend rights and freedoms as they deem necessary.

Erdogan announced the emergency in a live television broadcast in front of government ministers after a meeting of the National Security Council that lasted nearly five hours on Wednesday.

Also on Thursday, Austria has summoned Turkey's ambassador to explain Ankara's links to demonstrations in Austria in support of Turkey's president Tayyip Erdogan, who is leading a crackdown after a failed coup, said Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.

Kurz told ORF radio that the ambassador would be asked whether Turkish officials encouraged thousands of people in Austria to take to the streets over recent days in support of Erdogan after the attempt to unseat him.

"We want to clarify... which direction Turkey is going to take," Kurz said in an interview broadcast by ORF on Thursday.

"Secondly, we have evidence that the demonstrations for Erdogan that have taken place in Vienna were called for directly from Turkey... and that, of course, is absolutely untenable and we want to protest against that," he said.

Erdogan declared a state of emergency on Wednesday as he widened a crackdown against thousands of members of the security forces, judiciary, civil service and academia after the failed military coup.

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