In the early hours of July 19th, 2018, Turkey's government ended a two-year state of emergency in the country imposed following a failed coup attempt on July 15th, 2016. During the state of emergency, an estimated over 107,000 people, including teachers and civil servants, members of the media, judiciary and military, lost their public sector jobs and more than 50,000 people have been imprisoned over their alleged links to exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, who is widely believed to have been behind the failed coup attempt.
The decision not to extend the state of emergency for an eighth three-month period comes just weeks after Recep Tayyip Erdogan was once again elected as President. The Erdoğan administration wants to lift the state of emergency without undermining ongoing counterterrorism efforts, and to this end, will be introducing an anti-terrorism bill tomorrow July 20th in order to safeguard many of the measures secured under the state of emergency. The lifting of the state of emergency in Turkey will therefore not change much.
The lifting of the state of emergency, if in effect only symbolic, has been generally welcomed as a step in the right direction. The Turkish government under President Erdoğan is nevertheless widely recognised as likely to maintain its authoritarian and repressive approach to governing. The 'climate of fear' will therefore remain and violations of human rights and freedom of speech will continue for the foreseeable future..
The Turkish government officials have looked at the French model for an explanation to their handling of the lifting of the state of emergency. Following multiple terror attacks, France declared a state of emergency in November 2015, which remained in effect for two years. Although the state of emergency ended in November 2017, the French Parliament passed a series of laws to ensure that the necessary security precautions could continue to be taken.