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Turkey Set to Extend State of Emergency for Another 3 Months

(Xinhua) -- Turkey is set to extend the state of emergency for another three months, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Monday.

Bozdag told reporters following a cabinet meeting that the government will extend the state of emergency once again as advised by the National Security Council.

The current state of emergency is to expire on Jan. 19, and the coming extension will be the sixth since the initial declaration in 2016.

Turkey announced a state of emergency for the first time on July 20, 2016, in the wake of a failed coup attempt which left 250 people killed and 2,200 others injured.

Turkish government has since launched a massive crackdown on the supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living in exile in the U.S. who is accused of being the mastermind behind the 2016 coup. Gulen has denied the charges.

As Turkey seeks to extradite Gulen from the U.S., tensions have been rising between the two countries because Washington has rejected Turkey's request so far, citing lack of evidence.

The extension of the state of emergency has to be approved with a simple majority by the Turkish parliament, where the ruling Justice and Development Party holds 316 of 550 seats.

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