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Turkey to extend state of emergency for 3 more months

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-04 09:16
Turkey to extend state of emergency for 3 more months

Relatives carry the coffin of Fatih Cakmak, a security guard and a victim of an attack by a gunman at Reina nightclub, during his funeral in Istanbul, Turkey, January 2, 2017.[Photo/Agencies]

ANKARA - The Turkish parliament on Tuesday approved to extend the state of emergency for another three more months, Dogan News Agency reported.

Turkey declared a state of emergency on July 20, 2016, days after a failed military coup, which Ankara blames on the US-based exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Under emergency rule, the government can bypass the parliament to enact new laws and limit or suspend rights and freedoms.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday that debates on a bill to change the Turkey's constitution will start in parliament next week.

The draft will be submitted to the General Assembly on Jan. 9 and is expected to be approved by the end of the month.

The bill grants extended power to the president and allows the president to remain the head of his or her political party.

The Turkish government said it would put the constitutional changes to a referendum, even if the proposals had gained enough support from lawmakers to pass through the parliament.

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