The removal of Turkish emergency regulations will not be considered for discussion as long as the country’s security is being threatened, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.

Ankara introduced a state of emergency following the July 2016 coup attempt. Ankara accused Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers of playing a key role in the coup. Gulen has refuted the allegations. Since July, Turkey has arrested hundreds of people who are suspected of having links with Gulen.

“Nobody can say now that there is no security in the country. The opposition holds rallies, the state protects them. In case there was no emergency regime we would not be able to take such steps. We will set the time frame of the state, not the West. A total of 250 people died and 2,193 others sustained injuries during the coup attempt. And now we are told to lift the emergency state. But this is not under discussion until we finish our work,” Erdogan said.

Turkey continues to combat the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK, outlawed in Turkey), acting within the legal framework, Erdogan noted. The Turkish president also asked the West for understanding in regard to the issue.

Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds flared in July 2015, when a ceasefire between Turkey and the PKK collapsed over a series of terror attacks allegedly committed by PKK members.

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