Turkey ends two-year-long state of emergency

Turkey ends two-year-long state of emergency

Ankara (Agencies): The Turkish government has announced to end controversial two-year-long state of emergency but it is set to introduce new anti-terrorism laws that it claims are needed to deal with constant security threats.

The opposition insists the laws are just as oppressive as the emergency powers they will replace.

Turkey declared a three-month state of emergency days after a violent failed coup attempt in 2016, and has extended it seven times since then.

During his election campaign, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had promised not to prolong the state of emergency.

Turkish government, under the state of emergency, arrested more than 75,000 people for alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric whom Ankara blames for the failed coup attempt.

Around130, 000 civil servants have been purged from government jobs for purported links to terror organizations.

Among them were judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, teachers and academics. Many have repeatedly declared their innocence. Gulen himself denies involvement in the coup attempt.

Critics have accused the government of misusing its emergency powers to erode democracy and arrest opponents, including lawmakers, journalists and political activists.

A U.N. report earlier this year said Turkey's state of emergency had led to human rights violations.

If approved, the new anti-terror laws would also allow governors to bar entry into certain regions for up to 15 days. Open-air demonstrations would be restricted to daylight hours.

Turkey says the anti-terror measures are necessary because it is the target of several "terror" groups, including a network of Gulen supporters, Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State group.