Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a three-month state of emergency for Turkey following a failed coup attempt over the weekend.
The state of emergency will give broad powers to security forces and the government, NPR’s Peter Kenyon reports. Erdogan says it will make it more efficient to round up, question and try people accused of supporting the coup.
“Erdogan says its necessary to protect the rule of law and democracy, but he also made clear these would be used extensively against the Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former ally now accused of fomenting this failed coup,” Peter says.
About 10,000 people are accused of supporting the coup, and 50,000 or more accused of backing Gulen, Peter says.
And under the state of emergency, laws could be passed to grant new powers to the government, he reports.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera English, Erdogan compared his government’s reaction to the coup to other countries’ responses to security threats.
“For example, in the face of terrorist acts, France took numerous steps and certain stands,” he said, according to Al-Jazeera.
“Did they not detain people en masse? Did they not arrest people in very high numbers?”
Erdogan told the broadcaster more than 9,000 people have been detained, nearly 20,000 charged by a court and some 60,000 purged from state institutions, according to Peter and Al-Jazeera.
He also told Al-Jazeera that in the aftermath of the attempted coup he would support reinstating the death penalty, which Turkey abolished in 2004 as part of a bid for European Union membership.
Peter reports from Istanbul that there are “a lot of very worried Turks” on the street.
“Anyone with views not aligned with Erdogan is keeping a very low profile. But there’s also a large segment of the population that’s kind of proud they faced down a coup,” Peter says.
“It’s a deeply divided population. They’re clinging at the moment to the one thing they hope they all share: a deep loathing of military governments.”