Turkey will next week lift the state of emergency introduced after a failed 2016 coup and which granted the government greater powers to detain suspects, according to Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.
“The current state of emergency is coming to an end on the night of July 18. Mr President has the will… not to extend it,” Kalin told reporters on Friday after the first cabinet meeting since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s outright election victory last month.
Under emergency rule, renewed seven times since the abortive coup against Erdogan’s elected government, over 110,000 public sector employees have been removed from their jobs via emergency decrees while tens of thousands more have been suspended in a crackdown criticised by Ankara’s Western allies.
However, the Turkish government says the purges are needed to rid the state of the “virus” of Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen blamed by the authorities for masterminding the coup bid.
Gulen, who is based in the US, has denied any role.
Kalin added that the lifting of emergency rule would slow down Turkey’s fight against terror, but that the fight would continue under counter-terrorism laws.
And he said that if Turkey faces another “extraordinary threat, the state of emergency might be reintroduced”.