National Security Council expected to advise extending state of emergency

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Turkey’s top security advisory body, the National Security Council (MGK), convenes today under the chairmanship of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and is expected to consider extending the state of emergency for the sixth time.

Members of the MGK, which convened at an ordinary meeting on March 28, did not discuss whether the state of emergency would be extended. Following this meeting, an unusual gathering of the MGK will reportedly focus on the state of emergency. It is expected that a recommendation on the extension of the state of emergency will be issued and it will be discussed in Parliament later this week as the extension has to be approved by Parliament with a simple majority.

Speaking in a televised interview on April 4, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ clarified the situation in regard to another extension of the state of emergency, saying that the ongoing fight against FETÖ makes it necessary to extend it once more.

Turkey declared the current state of emergency for the first time on July 20, 2016 following a deadly coup attempt by FETÖ that killed 250 people and left 2,200 injured.

In addition to the state of emergency, the ongoing conflict in Syria is expected to be discussed in the MGK meeting. Last weekend, the U.S, France and the United Kingdom agreed to adopt a joint resolution about stopping the Syrian regime’s suspected chemical weapon attacks in Douma. The coalition powers sent missiles to Damascus on Saturday, which was welcomed by the Turkish government. Another topic that is expected to be discussed at the MGK is Turkey’s war on terror. After Olive Branch Operation was successfully finalized, officials said that the challenge of eliminating the PKK and other affiliated groups near the Syrian border will continue, including Manbij.

Turkish-EU relations are also expected to be discussed at the top security body. The EU’s progress report on Turkey and the outcomes of the Turkish-EU summit in Varna, Bulgaria on March 26 will both be topics on the agenda.





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