Ankara, Aug 20 () - As the escalation of violence in the country has raised a sense of insecurity among its citizens, Turkey’s nationalist party leader has called for a declaration of martial law.
“Under today’s conditions, as terror has reached its peak point, the National Security Council [MGK] should hold an emergency meeting,” said Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, in a written statement late on Aug. 19.
His statement was released just hours after the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) announced earlier on Aug. 19 that militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) had killed eight soldiers with a roadside bomb in the southeastern Anatolian province of Siirt.
“In line with Article 122 of the constitution, it is obligatory to definitely secure a large [area] of our country with martial law measures in a way that would include cities and towns [which have been a] scene to violence and horror” Bahçeli said.
“Under today’s conditions and environment in Turkey, holding an election may light the fuse of a civil war. In this regard, the repetition of elections should definitely be reviewed” he also said.
The unrest in the NATO member state comes weeks after it declared a “war on terror,” opened up its air bases to the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), launched air strikes on PKK militants and detained more than 2,500 suspected members of radical Kurdish, far-leftist and jihadist groups.
The attack in Siirt came a day after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu gave up on efforts to form a new government after weeks of coalition talks with the opposition failed, paving the way for a new election potentially within months.
“The Council of Ministers, under the chairmanship of the president of the republic, after consultation with the National Security Council, may declare martial law in one or more regions or throughout the country for a period not exceeding six months, in the event of widespread acts of violence which are more dangerous than the cases necessitating a state of emergency and which are aimed at the destruction of the free democratic order or the fundamental rights and freedoms embodied in the constitution; or in the event of war, the emergence of a situation necessitating war, an uprising, or the spread of violent and strong rebellious actions against the motherland and the republic, or widespread acts of violence of either internal or external origin threatening the indivisibility of the country and the nation” reads Article 122 of the constitution.