President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday warned the European Union that Turkey could extend by at least another three months a state of emergency that has been in place since the failed July coup. In a speech in Istanbul, Erdogan launched another stinging attack on the EU after the European Parliament voted on Thursday to back a freeze in accession talks with Ankara.
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He again threatened to bring back the death penalty — a decision that would effectively end Ankara’s longstanding bid — and said that on this he would listen to the Turkish people and not “Hans” and “George”, picking out two common European names. The state of emergency imposed after the July 15 failed coup bid has seen at least 37,000 people arrested, causing alarm in Brussels over the scale of the crackdown.
“Maybe the state of emergency will be extended by three months and then maybe another three months,” he said. “This is a decision for the government and the parliament.” “What’s it to you?” he told the European Parliament. “Is the European Parliament in charge of this country or is the government in charge of this country?”
“Know your place!” he added, in an angry tirade. He noted that France had also put in place a state of emergency after it was hit by a string of Islamist attacks in 2015 and accused the European Parliament of hypocrisy. “Are you not aware that you are aiding and abetting terrorism?” he told the European Parliament.
Turkey has once renewed the three-month state of emergency put in place in the wake of the July 15 coup. It would need to be renewed again in January. Erdogan had yesterday rattled the European Union by threatening to tear up an agreement that has substantially reduced the flow of illegal migrants to Europe this year.
In his latest speech, he again threatened to sign into law any bill voted by parliament to bring back capital punishment, whose abolition is a key condition of EU membership. “I am not going to take a decision based on what Hans says, or what George says,” he said. “I answer to the people.” “If the people want capital punishment, it goes to parliament. If parliament says yes, I will sign it. Isn’t democracy the national will?”