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Will state of emergency become the new normal for Turkey?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to be contemplating extending the state of emergency in Turkey beyond 12 months.
A Turkish special forces police officer guards the entrance of the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, August 5, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RTSL6LJ

Within a week of the failed July 15 military coup in Turkey, the government declared a three-month state of emergency. According to the Turkish Constitution, a state of emergency can be declared for a maximum of six months. After the coup attempt — which took more than 240 lives and left nearly 2,200 people wounded — the declaration of a state of emergency on July 20 seemed to many to be legitimate and fully justified.

Following the Islamic State's attacks in Paris in November 2015, the French government had also declared a state of emergency. Therefore, in Turkey, although the announcement that certain clauses of the European Convention on Human Rights were suspended, it did not create great concern in the political circles in the country or in the West that would normally react negatively to such a move. Perhaps worries inside and outside Turkey were also eased by the government's opting for a time frame of three months, even though the constitution allows a maximum of six months, in addition to some soothing remarks by high-level officials.

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