The Turkish Parliament has approved on Tuesday a three-month extension of the state of emergency introduced after an attempted coup in July, a decision that comes three days after an attack murderer in a nightclub in Istanbul. The state of emergency, which has led to the arrest of over 41 000 people and aroused the concern of the european Union, had already been extended once and was due to expire on 19 January. The attack of the night of New Year’s eve party at Reina, one of the most famous night clubs of the Turkish metropolis, has made 39 dead, most of them foreigners. The assailant alleged is absconding. The Turkish government, which had asked Parliament for an extension of the state of emergency, explained that it was necessary to eradicate the influence within the institutions of the Turkish mindset of the preacher’s Turkish Fethullah Gulen, a sworn enemy of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Fethullah Gulen has denied being behind the failed coup of July, as the accuses the Turkish government.
The state of emergency gives special powers to the government to lay off employees and close associations and media groups. It also enables the authorities to prolong the detention of individuals without charge. At the end of 2016, Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the european Union that it could extend into January, at least three months a state of emergency, noting that France, hit by a series of terrorist attacks, had done the same. The Turkish president had also said that he would sign the reinstatement of capital punishment, abolished in 2004, if the members voted, in spite of warnings from european leaders, who consider this measure to be incompatible with EU membership.