Erdogan’s move towards dictatorial powers is nearly complete with a State of Emergency Declaration that will allow him to rule by decree.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced three months of emergency rule late on Wednesday, saying the country remained under threat even as his government has arrested, detained or suspended almost 60,000 people it suspects of complicity in Friday’s failed coup.
“The declaration of a state of emergency is to protect [democratic] values,” Mr Erdogan said, speaking after a meeting lasting several hours with his National Security Council and cabinet.
Turkey’s constitution allows Mr Erdogan’s cabinet to issue decrees under the state of emergency that take immediate effect and are not subject to review by the constitutional court.
The decrees can be reviewed by parliament but Mr Erdogan’s AK party has a majority in the Grand National Assembly, thus giving the president and his cabinet the ability to pass laws immediately and unchecked.
Mr Erdogan interrupted the cabinet and NSC meeting for an interview with Al Jazeera, in which he criticised European politicians, telling Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French foreign minister, to “mind his own business”.
Since the failed coup, the government has asked deans of all universities to retire, restricted foreign travel for as much as 5 per cent of the population, suspended the licenses of thousands of schoolteachers and purged the military, police and intelligence services.
Mr Erdogan spent a significant part of his address attacking rating agencies, particularly Standard & Poor’s, after a downgrade sent the Turkish lira to a historic low of 3.09 to the dollar. S&P warned that Ankara faced unpredictable capital flows that could constrain its indebted economy after the failed coup.
“What’s S&P got to do with Turkey?” Mr Erdogan asked.
The count of fired judges, police officers, military personnel, etc., in Erdogan’s purge has now topped 60,000.
Perhaps German chancellor Angela Merkel wants them, assuming they do not rot away in prison or are are soon executed.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock