As state of emergency ends, Turkey mulls new terror laws

FILE - In this Sunday, July 9, 2017 file photo, supporters of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party, hold Turkish flags in Istanbul, as they gather for a rally following their 425-kilometer (265-mile) 'March for Justice' from capital Ankara to Istanbul. Turkey declared a three-month state of emergency after a failed coup attempt in 2016, and has extended it seven times since then, but it is scheduled to end at midnight Wednesday July 18, 2018, though opposition leaders insists that new anti-terrorism laws are just as oppressive as the emergency powers they will replace. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)
FILE - In this file photo dated Monday, April 16, 2018, Turkey's police officers look on as supporters of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party, CHP, gather to protest near central Istanbul's Taksim Square. Turkey's controversial two-year-long state of emergency is scheduled to end at midnight Wednesday July 18, 2018, but the government is set to introduce new anti-terrorism laws it says are needed to deal with continued security threats. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel, FILE)

ANKARA, Turkey — As Turkey's two-year state of emergency comes to an end, the government is set to introduce new anti-terrorism laws it says are needed to deal with continued 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 extended it seven times since then.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had pledged not to prolong it when it expires at midnight Wednesday as part of a campaign promise ahead of last month's elections, which he won.

Instead, a parliamentary committee is on Thursday scheduled to debate government-proposed legislation which among other things, would allow authorities to press ahead with mass dismissals of civil servants and hold some suspects under custody for up to 12 days. A vote in the general assembly could be held next week.

Under the state of emergency, Turkey has arrested over 75,000 people for alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric whom Ankara blames for the failed attempt. Some 130,000 civil servants have been purged from government jobs for purported links to terror organizations.

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