Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has declared a state of emergency for three months following the failed military coup. He vowed to cleanse “all the viruses within the armed forces” to restore normalcy to the democratically-elected country. The decision comes after he presiding over a meeting with the national security council and the Cabinet.
Speaking from the presidential palace in Ankara, Erdoğan said, “This measure is in no way against democracy, the law and freedoms.” Nearly 10,000 people are detained for possible links to anti-government forces. Erdoğan hailed those who came out against the rebels, describing them as “martyrs”. Close to 250 people died resisting the coup attempt.
More than 600 educational institutions remain closed. Over 50,000 state employees are among those rounded up, or have been suspended or fired in a crackdown by the President. On Friday, 99 military personnel were charged in connection with the foiled bid.
German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged the Erdoğan government to maintain law and order and a sense of proportionality in its response to the incident. “Only provable involvement in illegal acts, not suspected political leanings, should trigger governmental action,” he reportedly said. “It’s also critical that the declaration of emergency be the truly necessary length of time, and to end the measure as quickly as possible.”
On July 15 this year, a coup d’état was attempted in Turkey, by a section of the Turkish Armed Forces in Ankara and Istanbul. The President has blamed the attempt on US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has been previously blamed for influencing the military.