01:25 GMT +324 May 2018
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    Turkish State of Emergency to Not Affect Snap Elections – Deputy Prime Minister

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    ANKARA (Sputnik) – The fact that the preparations for the upcoming snap presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey will be carried out amid the recently extended state of emergency will not negatively affect the upcoming votes, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Thursday.

    On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the snap parliamentary and presidential votes to be held on June 24. That same day, the Turkish parliament ratified a motion extending the state of emergency in Turkey for the seventh time for an additional three-month period starting on Friday. Later in the day, Bulent Tezcan, the deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People's Party, called for the state of emergency to be lifted immediately because of the snap elections.

    "The fact that the preparations for the election in Turkey are carried out in the conditions of a state of emergency will not have any negative impact on them," Bozdag said in an interview with the Anadolu news agency.

    He went on to say that June 24 would become a new period in Turkey’s history.

    "The decision to hold the snap election in Turkey has become a step which helped foil the plans of anti-Turkish forces … If the system has changed, we should continue our way with a new system. No one is interested in lingering the shift to the new system of governance," the deputy prime minister pointed out.

    The Turkish parliamentary and presidential elections were initially scheduled to take place in November 2019. Despite the date being moved up, the new political system increasing the powers of the president in line with the 2017 referendum will come into effect after the elections.

    The state of emergency was initially declared in Turkey after the failed coup attempt of July 2016, and has been repeatedly prolonged since then. The Turkish opposition has repeatedly criticized the prolongation of the state of emergency saying that it threatens human rights and freedoms in the county.

    The extension of the state of emergency has also become one of the cornerstones in Ankara’s relations with the European Union, which has repeatedly called on Turkey to lift its state of emergency.

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