President says state of emergency to stay till peace returns to Turkey
ISTANBUL, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that the state of emergency imposed in the aftermath of a failed coup last year will not be lifted until peace is restored in the country.
"We cannot lift the state of emergency unless peace and welfare are restored," the president told business leaders in Istanbul, saying the step was taken to make all work in the country to be done in a much healthier way.
Erdogan insisted that the state of emergency is not a hurdle to business.
Turkey has been fighting the Kurdistan Workers' Party for three decades, as the group is seeking an autonomous region in the country's southeast, as well as the Islamic State emerging in neighboring Syria and Iraq.
"At the moment the mountains are filled with ammunition," Erdogan said, adding Turkish security forces have been engaging in all kinds of struggle.
Turkey has extended thrice the state of emergency declared in July last year after a military coup bid was foiled.