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Turkey to suspend European rights convention following failed coup

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister said Turkey will temporarily suspend a key European rights convention [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 21 July, 2016

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Turkey said it will not implement its obligations to the European Convention on Human Rights after parliament approved a nationwide state of emergency.
Turkey will temporarily suspend a key European rights convention after declaring a state of emergency, Turkey's deputy prime minister said on Thursday.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the government would follow the example set by France, after it put the European Convention on Human Rights [ECHR] on hold after a state of emergency was declared  in November following an attack in Paris claimed by the Islamic State group.

Ankara declared a three-month state of emergency on Thursday, as authorities expanded their crackdown to find suspects linked to Friday's failed military coup.

"France proclaimed a state of emergency, too. And they have suspended the ECHR upon Article 15 of the convention," Kurtulmus said.

"A declaration of a state of emergency is not against the ECHR," he said, adding that Turkey will make its decision official in a statement.

The move came in defiance of growing global alarm over at the extent of the government's legal retribution against suspects involved in a plot to unsuccessfully unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey has purged some 50,000 alleged sympathisers from their jobs - some pending investigation - while 9,200 suspects have been detained.

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The state of emergency declared by Erdogan and approved by parliament on Thursday will give security services greater powers to arrest suspects linked to US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen's movement. 

Turkey's president accused Gulen of orchestrating the failed coup from his leafy compound in Pennsylvania.

The extra powers, to restrict freedom of movement and other rights, were needed "to remove swiftly all the elements of the terrorist organisation involved in the coup attempt", Erdogan said.

The deputy prime minister said the special measures may only last up to 45 days, and that "we want to end the state of emergency as soon as possible".

Asked about whether the government may impose curfews, Kurtulmus said: "very clearly no. This is not a declaration of martial law... society has been forced to choose between a coup or an undemocratic government."

Agencies contributed to this report.

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