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Erdogan vows to lift Turkey state of emergency if re-elected

Campaign posters of presidential candidates are seen at Kizilay square in Ankara, Turkey on 13 June 2018 [Özge Elif Kızıl/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has guaranteed that he will lift the long-held state of emergency that has gripped the country for the past two years should he be re-elected.

Speaking in an interview with Turkey’s 24 TV, Erdogan said: “Should I continue this task after June 24, the first thing we’ll do is, God willing, lift the state of emergency.”

If the state of emergency is lifted, however, it “does not mean abolishing it completely not to come back,” hinting that it could be re-implemented at any time necessary. “We’ll take whatever the toughest precaution is again when we see terror.”

Turkey has extended the state of emergency every three months since the failed military coup that took place in July 2016. The measure gives the government the right to shut down businesses, media outlets and other rights groups in order to prevent terrorism and another future possible coup attempt.

Read: Turkey’s Erdogan says emergency rule good for economy as stops terrorism, strikes

The state of emergency has given Erdogan the power to enforce decrees without parliamentary oversight or review by the constitutional court, making it a point of contention between the government and its critics

The government insists that all measures that have been taken are necessary for stability and the prevention of threats to security.

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