Erdogan mulls lifting Turkey′s state of emergency | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 13.07.2018
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Erdogan mulls lifting Turkey's state of emergency

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman has said Turkey could end its state of emergency ahead of an extension deadline of July 19. But it would not slow down Turkey's fight against terror, he added.

After the first cabinet meeting under Turkey's new presidential system, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkish authorities were considering lifting the state of emergency, which was imposed following a failed coup in July 2016.

"As of now, it is foreseen that the emergency rule be brought to an end on the 18th [of July] and the fight against terrorism will continue with current laws in place," Kalin said, although he added that in the event of an extraordinary threat, the state of emergency could be revived.

Read more: Opinion: A dark time for democracy in Turkey

Gulen still blamed

Ankara blames US-based Islamic cleric and erstwhile Erdogan ally Fethullah Gulen for orchestrating the coup attempt. The state of emergency has been extended seven times since coming into effect in 2016.

Over 70,000 people have been arrested in connection with the coup attempt and more than 110,000 people have been purged from the civil service and military. About 1,300 associations and foundations have been shut down under the measures.

Erdogan said earlier on Friday that there would be commemoration ceremonies in 81 provinces on Sunday to make the second anniversary of the coup attempt "unforgettable."

Erdogan, who is now both the head of state and government after the move to an executive presidency, promised if re-elected in the June 24 presidential elections that he would lift emergency rule.

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