States of emergency: Turkey, France
Yesterday Erdogan declared the state of emergency in Turkey:
The emergency allows the president and cabinet to bypass parliament when drafting new laws and to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms.
Speaking at the presidential palace in Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that "all the viruses within the armed forces will be cleansed".
Last week, after the attack in Nice, Hollande announced a six month extension of the state of emergency in France. This is the fourth time the state of emergency has been extended in France since November:
Pour la quatrième fois depuis les attentats du 13 novembre 2015, l’état d’urgence va être prolongé, cette fois pour une durée de six mois. Le 14 juillet, François Hollande avait annoncé sa suspension, à partir du 26 juillet, avant que l’horreur qui a frappé Nice au soir de la fête nationale n’impose une nouvelle prolongation [...]
Yesterday the French Parliament voted overwhemingly in favor of an extension of the state of emergency:
After seven hours of fraught debate into the night, during which the opposition accused the government of being lax on security, the lower house of parliament voted by 489 to 26 to prolong the state of emergency for a further six months.
Then on Wednesday afternoon, a large majority of senators followed suit, voting to extend the state of emergency by 309 to 26.
What does the French state of emergency mean?
The measures give a number of exceptional powers to the authorities, including the right to set curfews, limit the movement of people and forbid mass gatherings, establish secure zones where people can be monitored and close public spaces such as theatres, bars, museums and other meeting places.
The state of emergency also gives more powers to the security services and police, such as the right to conduct house searches at any time without judicial oversight, enforce house arrest and confiscate certain classes of weapons, even if people hold them legally.
Precisely what the state of emergency will mean in Turkey is unclear but the language surrounding the emergency summit yesterday clearly aimed to reassure:
The government will rule in the interests of democracy, and “there will be no restrictions on rights and freedoms,” Erdogan, who has been seeking to concentrate power in the presidency since he was elected to the office two years ago, told a rally on Wednesday night. On Thursday, deputy premier Nurettin Canikli said Turkey needs to extend the four-day maximum detention period to fully investigate coup suspects, and that was a key reason for the emergency powers. [...]
Crucially the state of emergency allows Erdogan to rule by decree:
Emergency rule, which was in force in parts of Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast until the last decade, allows the government to issue decrees with the force of law and suspend rights. According to the presidential press office, if parliament approves the decrees, they can’t be overturned even by the Constitutional Court -- the country’s top tribunal. The AK Party that Erdogan co-founded has a clear majority in the legislature.
The power to rule by decree might give Erdogan a second shot at establishing a "super-presidency" with greatly expanded powers after Parliament rejected that idea in a vote on June 7, 2015.
European Convention on Human Rights
One of the nice things about declaring a state of emergency is that Article 15 of the ECHR then allows you to suspend the European Convention on Human Rights. France suspended the ECHR on November 24, 2015 and hasn't reinstated it yet.
Turkey has announced a similar suspension (perhaps just as well given that Turkey has the most violations of any state over the period 1959-2015):
Turkey will follow France's example in suspending temporarily the European Convention on Human Rights following its declaration of a state of emergency, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Thursday, according to broadcaster NTV.
States of emergency: collect them all.