President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said late Wednesday that if he is to be elected president in the upcoming elections, the first thing he will do is to lift the emergency state that has been ongoing for almost two years.
"After June 24, if I am given the right to continue in office, our first step will be, God willing, to lift the state of emergency," Erdoğan said in an interview with 24 TV in his hometown northern province of Rize.
The state of emergency was declared five days after the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which killed 250 people and left 2,200 injured.
Last week, Erdoğan said that his government will discuss in detail and make necessary assessments to lift the state of emergency imposed following the deadly coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The president further expressed that the state of emergency had no negative effect on the political campaigns of the presidential candidates.
"This state of emergency is a security measure to save the regions that are under the threat of terrorism," he added.
In the year-and-a-half since, security forces have arrested thousands suspected of FETÖ involvement in the coup bid, many of whom hold positions in the government and military, and are thought to pose a continuing threat.