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Trump congratulates Erdogan on referendum win

Ankara, Turkey | AFP |  Trump congratulates Erdogan on referendum win, the Turkish state media reported.

Turkey’s top security body meanwhile backed the extension for another three months of the state of emergency imposed after last July’s failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, broadcaster NTV reported.

The decision, taken at a meeting of the National Security Council (MGK) chaired by Erdogan, to recommend its extension comes two days before the emergency was due to end and a day after Turkish voters approved constitutional changes boosting Erdogan’s powers.

“To ensure the continuity of measures for the protection of democracy, rule of law principles as well as rights and freedoms, a decision was made to recommend extending the state of emergency,” the MGK said in a statement, quoted by NTV.

The state of emergency has been renewed twice before, in October and January, after it was first declared on July 20, five days after the attempted putsch.

The decision now needs to be rubber-stamped by the Turkish cabinet to come into force. The cabinet is due to meet after the MGK meeting.

During the state of emergency, over 47,000 people have been arrested on suspicion of links to the coup while tens of thousands more people working in the public sector have been dismissed or suspended from their jobs.

Many are academics, police officers, journalists, teachers as well as judges and prosecutors. The crackdown has been heavily criticised by Turkey’s Western allies.

In Sunday’s referendum, over 51 percent voted in support of changes that will axe the role of premier and allow the president to appoint ministers.


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