ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday declared a three-month state of emergency, vowing to hunt down the "terrorist" group behind last week's bloody coup attempt.
He has accused followers of his arch-enemy, US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, of being behind the coup, which has led to a wave of some 50,000 arrests and sackings of suspected conspirators.
The state of emergency was needed "in order to remove swiftly all the elements of the terrorist organisation involved in the coup attempt," Erdogan said at the presidential palace in Ankara.
Although the special measure vastly increases state security powers, Erdogan vowed there would be "no compromise on democracy".
The announcement followed long meetings of Turkey's national security council and cabinet chaired by Erdogan at the presidential palace.
A state of emergency gives the government extra powers to restrict freedom of movement, said an official, adding that it would not restrict financial or commercial activities as "international law sets limits of restrictions".
Turkey in 2002 lifted its last state of emergency, which had been imposed in provinces in the southeast for the fight against Kurdish militants in 1987.
Article 120 of the constitution allows a state of emergency to be imposed "at a time of serious deterioration of public order because of acts of violence."
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