Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that the country’s ongoing state of emergency was only aimed to ease Turkey’s fight against terrorist groups such as FETO and the PKK.
“Three-month state of emergency is only for an effective counter-terrorism,” Erdogan said while addressing mukhtars, local town government heads, at the Presidential Complex in Ankara.
After the deadly coup attempt, which martyred more than 240 people and injured nearly 2,200 others, Turkey declared a state of emergency on July 20.
According to the Turkish Constitution, a state of emergency can be declared for a maximum period of six months.
To enact the state of emergency, the government must see serious indications of widespread violence that could interfere with Turkey’s democratic environment or its citizens’ basic rights and freedoms as established by the Constitution.
On Wednesday, the National Security Council offered to extend the country’s state of emergency beyond its initial three-month period.
“It has been agreed to recommend to extend the state of emergency in order to ensure the continuity of the effective implementation of the measures aiming to protect our democracy, the rule of law and the rights and freedoms of our citizens,” read the statement issued after the meeting.
Regarding the decision, Erdogan said Turkey needed more time to clean all extensions of FETO and PKK terrorist organizations.
“We race against time. The [terror] issue is such deep and complicated as it seems initial three-month state of emergency will not be enough,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan said that no one had the right to intervene in Turkey’s domestic issues or criticize a possible extension of the state of emergency.
“There is a year lasting state of emergency in France. Is there any world country telling France: ‘Why [did] you declare a year-long state of emergency?”, Erdogan said, adding that maybe even a 12-month state of emergency would not be enough for Turkey.
The president also said July 15 was an attempted “invasion” of Turkish land.
“Former treachery attempts [of FETO] generally targeted directly us, or the government we rule, but this time [July 15 coup attempt] also targeted the nation itself,” Erdogan said.
“But the nation did not hand over our lands [to coup plotters].”