Thursday, July 21, 2016


Turkish lawmakers convened Thursday to endorse sweeping new powers for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that would allow him to expand a crackdown in the wake of last week's failed coup.

The 550-member parliament is set to approve Erdogan's request for a three-month state of emergency. Erdogan's Justice and Development Party account for 317 members in the chamber.

In an address to the nation late Wednesday, Erdogan announced a Cabinet decision to seek the additional powers, saying the state of emergency would give the government the tools to rid the military of the "virus" of subversion.

The measure would give Erdogan the authority to extend detention times for suspects and issue decrees that have the force of law without parliamentary approval, among other powers.

Even without the emergency measures, the government has already imposed a crackdown that has included mass arrests and closing hundreds of schools. Nearly 10,000 people have been arrested and over 58,880 civil service employees including teachers, university deans and police have been dismissed, suspended, forced to resign or had their licenses revoked. (Read More)