“The threat to the life of the nation”: what does it mean the introduction of state of emergency in Turkey


Extraordinary circumstances

The evening of 20 June, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the introduction of a state of emergency for a period of three months. The President noted that this does not mean the introduction in Turkey of military rule and economic reforms in the country will continue. The introduction of a state of emergency, Erdogan explained the aims of the “protection of democracy, rights and freedoms of citizens and the rule of law.”

A day later, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters that in the period of the emergency rule to be suspended the European Convention on human rights (ECHR).

The European Convention on human rights is one of the main documents of the Council of Europe guarantees the respect for fundamental rights and freedoms in the signatory States. Among the rights guaranteed by the Convention, the right to life, personal integrity, fair trial. The Convention prohibits torture, guarantees freedom of thought, Assembly, prohibits the imposition of the death penalty in peacetime.

“France also imposed a state of emergency. They also suspended the ECHR under article 15,” said Kurtulmus, speaking to reporters. Kurtulmus stressed that the authorities guarantee to Turkish citizens fundamental rights and freedoms, and that in their daily life, the emergency rule will have no effect.

Just like in France

In November 2015, after the terrorist attacks “Islamic state” (banned in Russia as a terrorist organization) in Paris, France imposed a state of emergency (which has not stopped until now). After this, France has notified the European Council that certain measures in the framework of the special regime can lead to a deviation from certain rights guaranteed by the ECHR. It was emphasized that we are not talking about guarantees of the right to life, prohibition of torture, prohibition of slavery and punishment in strict accordance with the law.

St.15 of the ECHR, which refers Kurtulmus, involves the derogation of the Convention in case of war or other emergency threatening the life of the nation.” In this case, any country that uses the right provided for in article 15 should inform the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on the reasons for such a step and entered it. The Secretary General should also be informed about the timing of the lifting of state of emergency.

Under the regime of a state of emergency, the Turkish authorities will have the right to impose curfews and restrict freedom of Assembly, the issuance of search warrants and the arrest will be carried out through a simplified procedure. Authorities will have the right to issue decrees that will have the force of law to pass through Parliament after approval by Erdogan only for procedure formal approval. The government will have the right to prohibit the publication and sale of printed publications, to limit TV broadcasting.

Earlier, Turkey had resorted to imposing a state of emergency in the South-Eastern regions of the country — it was a reaction to the activity of Kurdish militants. This mode was introduced in 1987 and withdrawn only after 15 years. Then the government was able to impose a curfew, to issue warrants for searches and arrests and to limit freedom of Assembly.

According to the press service of Erdogan, which leads Bloomberg, after the approval of emergency by Parliament it will not be able to cancel even the constitutional court (the highest court of the country).

To close their eyes to criticism

In an interview Aj Jazeera in response to the question about the possible return of the death penalty in the country, Erdogan said that the criticism from the EU will not stop him from taking the necessary measures after the failure of the military coup. “The EU is not the whole world, it is only 28 countries. The US has the death penalty in Russia is in fact on the territory of Russia since 1995 a moratorium on the death penalty], in China, too, is”, — Erdogan said a few hours before the announcement of the emergency mode.

Foreign Minister of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier has commented on the introduction of state of emergency. According to him, Ankara should establish clear deadlines for the actions of the state of emergency, after which immediately take it off. “Any other scenario will bring Turkey harm both from domestic and from the foreign policy point of view,” — said Steinmeier.

According to the Advisor of the Director of the Russian Institute for strategic studies, expert of the international discussion club “Valdai” Elena Suponina, now Erdogan’s dismissive response to the criticism of the European Union. The Turkish leader is not committed to the EU as much as before, because they understand that the Europeans in any case would not have gone to Turkey’s membership in the bloc in the near future. According to experts, the introduction of state of emergency are not directed towards any particular layer to Turkish authorities can be no matter whether certain people involved in the coup attempt. A state of emergency, said Suponina, can hit like on the Kurds, there is freedom of the press, and against the remaining political opponents of Erdogan. “In Turkey will now be looking for a black cat in a black room” — the expert believes.

Since the failure of the coup has been less than a week, during this time, work on suspicion of having links with the putschists lost more than 53 thousand people. Of these, almost 9 thousand people — MIA 21 thousand workers of education, 6 thousand soldiers, almost 3 thousand judges and prosecutors and 1.5 thousand University deans. More than 6 thousand people were arrested, including more than 100 generals.

Tourists don’t bother

As stated by the General Director of “Pegas Touristik” Anna Podgornaya, the unrest in the Turkish resorts among tourists after the imposition of emergency is not observed. She explains that “hotels were booked class is above average, with a large territory where you can get all the services and the territory of which tourists no need to leave”.

According to the Executive Vice-President of the Association of tour operators of Russia of Maya Lomidze, the state of emergency will not affect Russian tourists. According to her, the resorts there is a formal curfew, but most tourists do not leave the hotel grounds. Now in Turkey, according to Lomidze, the left 200-400 tourists from Russia, including independent travelers.