Turkey suspends rights convention under state of emergency

World Today

Turkey suspends rights convention under state of emergency

Turkey has officially entered a three-month state-of-emergency, following the failed coup attempted to remove President Erodgan. At least 9,000 have been detained and tens of thousands of civil servants fired or suspended.

CCTV’s Natalie Carney reports from Istanbul. Follow Natalie Carney on Twitter @NatalieCarney77

Millions across Turkey support the Turkish government’s plan to weed out those associated with the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of being behind last week’s failed coup attempt.

“Whatever Recep Tayyip Erdogan says, we are at his disposal as Turkish people,” Ali Hanci, Erdogan supporter, said. “Foreign countries should understand that. We are at Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s disposal and we will follow his path. If he says die, people here will die.”

Roughly 50,000 people have already been suspended, fired, detained or officially arrested.

Still, the government believes more measures are needed to completely root out those seen as a threat to Turkey’s stability — a move many in parliament approve.

Under the State of Emergency, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is likely to rule largely by decree. Curfews could be enforced, gatherings and demonstrations could be banned and media restricted. Security personnel will have the right to search people, vehicles or properties without a warrant. Turkey will also suspend its membership in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Many rights groups and international observers fear these efforts could be used by the president as a pretext to enhance his powers.

“These latest developments do put a strong onus on the institutions of the European Union and on the member states to hold Turkey to account against its international obligations, to respect and protect human rights law, and to protect the rule of law,” Roisin Pillay, International Commission of Jurists, said. 

Western leaders have urged Erdogan and his government to respect lawful democratic principles.

Some, however, fear it could make things worse.

“I think it could make things worse in a country where we have no freedoms,” Hasan Tayyar, Istanbul resident, said. “We will probably have less freedoms and (more) dominance. It could curb the state of awareness which is bad but at least people would fight more for their freedoms.”

Yet others in Turkey feel the extra measures are needed regardless of the personal consequences.

“I think it is necessary to prevent bad things before they happen and for our government to be able to take right decisions,” Zeki Yalcin, Istanbul resident, said. 

While the state of emergency is set to last three months, Turkish officials said it’s likely to be lifted sooner.