President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced Wednesday a nationwide three-month state of emergency after Friday's failed coup that killed 246 people and injured over 1,500 others.
The government has also suspended or fired tens of thousands of civil servants suspected of having links to Fethullah Gulen, a USA -based Turkish cleric Mr. Erdogan accuses of seeking to overthrow the government and masterminding the failed coup.
Making his announcement in a live television broadcast in front of government ministers after a meeting of the National Security Council in Ankara that lasted almost five hours, Erdoğan said: "The objective of the state of emergency is to most effectively and swiftly take steps necessary to eliminate the threat to democracy in our country, the rule of law, and the rights and freedom of our citizens".
He will meet with his Cabinet ministers at the conclusion of the security meeting, after which an important announcement is expected.
Erdogan was in the Aegean resort of Marmaris when the coup struck and then flew to Istanbul where he had stayed since, appearing before supporters each night in a "vigil" for democracy.
The crunch meetings come as controversy grows over the scope of the crackdown against those suspected of being behind the coup plot.
Capital punishment was abolished in 2004 as part of Turkey's bid to join the European Union.
Turkey has already announced the firing of 15,200 teachers at state institutions, demanded the resignations of 1,577 university deans and halted all foreign assignments for state-employed academics. Meanwhile, for more than 21,000 private school teachers lost their licenses in a sweeping move from the Ministry of Education.
Turkey's Higher Board of Education banned academics from leaving for work trips abroad and urged those overseas to return home "within the shortest possible time", according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
An estimated 50,000 soldiers, police, judges, civil servants, and teachers have been suspended or detained since the attempted coup.
Yildirim said the justice ministry had sent a dossier to USA authorities on Gulen, whose religious movement blends conservative Islamic values with a pro-Western outlook and who has a network of supporters within Turkey.
Gulen issued a statement Tuesday urging Washington to reject the extradition call and dismissed as "ridiculous" the claim he was behind the botched coup.
Gulen continues to exert considerable influence in Turkey, with supporters in the media, police and judiciary.
Erdogan and Gulen were once allies, but had a falling out over 2013 corruption investigations in Turkey, which the Turkish leader blamed on Gulen.
Ankara's police headquarters is in an even worse state, with the 10-storey building gutted by repeated air attacks and the air still thick with dust from the rubble.
"I do not know how long the rebuilding will take". Responding to the attempt on Saturday, Erdogan said it was "a gift from God" since it will give the government "a reason to cleanse our army".
Before the plot erupted, the government had been waging a relentless military campaign against Kurdish rebels in the southeast of the country and their rear bases in northern Iraq.