Erdogan: ‘State of emergency will not be lifted’

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during the Extraordinary Congress of the ruling AKP in Ankara, Turkey May 21, 2017. REUTERS/Burhan Ozbilici/Pool

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that the country’s ongoing state of emergency will continue until Turkey achieves peace and welfare.

Speaking at a congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the president said that the coup attempt of 15 July last year was to be blamed for the state of emergency declared on 20 July.

“It will not be lifted. Until when? Until our situation reaches welfare and peace.”
On April 18, parliament extended Turkey’s ongoing state of emergency for another three months.

Erdogan said that everyone must support the fight against the Gulenist movement, or FETO as it is called by the government, accused to have masterminded the coup attempt.

“I invite everyone to support this fight even it affects your relatives,” he said. “The fight against FETO should be conducted with methods which are deserving of our nation’s self-sacrifice and will not harm the public conscience.”

Erdogan also slammed the EU over denied visa-free travel for Turkish citizens and 3 billion euros as part of the Syrian refugee deal brokered last year.

“We should no longer tolerate the EU’s duplicity, which came to the point of offending the honor of our country and nation,” said Erdogan.

“Either the EU keeps its promises to us, grants free movement [in the Schengen area], sends the aid which they committed for refugees, and lift the blocks on opening and closing chapters, or let’s all go our own way,” he said while keeping a door open to accession talks: “It’s up to the EU.”