Turkey’s parliament on Tuesday approved a government-backed motion to extend by another three months the state of emergency imposed in the wake of the July 15 failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The state of emergency — which has seen tens of thousands lose their jobs or be arrested on suspicion of links to the putsch — had already been prolonged once before and was due to expire on January 19.

Ankara argues the state of emergency is needed to eradicate the influence in Turkish institutions of the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who it blames for the failed coup. Gulen denies the charges.

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