Erdogan will lift state of emergency hours 'after election win'

Erdogan will lift state of emergency hours 'after election win'
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to immediately lift the country's state of emergency if he is re-elected this month.
2 min read
14 June, 2018
Turkey is in campaign mode for this month's election [Getty]
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised that if re-elected as the country's leader this month, a state of emergency - in place for almost two years - will be lifted immediately.

"After 24 June, if I am given the right to continue in office, our first step will be, God willing, to lift the state of emergency," Erdogan said in an interview with 24 TV late Wednesday.

The state of emergency was enforced in July 2016, five days after elements of the Turkish military went rogue and attempted a coup against the government.

Since then, the law has been used to round up thousands of suspected coup sympathisers and supporters of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara blames for the revolt.

Critics say the laws have been used by Erdogan to round up any political opponents.

Opposition leaders to Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have also vowed to lift the state of emergency if they win the election.

Muharrem Ince, presidential candidate for the Republican People's Party (CHP), said earlier this week that political restrictions will end if he is victorious.

"After the elections I will take the oath and as I take office we will immediately lift the emergency," he tweeted on Tuesday.

Erdogan had earlier indicated that the state of emergency could be about to end, although this would not necessarily mean an end to the crackdown which has seen 55,000 people detained.

"Lifting the state of emergency does not mean completely eliminating it or returning back to as we were," he added.

"When we see terrorism, we take the strictest measures to stop it. Did France completely abolish its state of emergency?"

Erdogan said last year that the laws would not be lifted until "peace is restored".

Agencies contributed to this story.