Turkey's President Erdogan calls snap election in June

By On April 18, 2018

Turkey's President Erdogan calls snap election in June

]]> Europe Europe Turkey's President Erdogan calls snap election in June

A handout photo made available by the Turkish Presidential Press Office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a press conference at at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, TurkeyImage copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Erdogan spent 11 years as prime minister before becoming Turkey's first directly elected president in 2014

Turkey will hold snap presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 June, brought forward by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from November 2019.

He has run Turkey since 2002 and will seek five more years with beefed up powers approved in a referendum last year.

The idea of an early poll was initially proposed by nationalist allies.

Mr Erdogan said in televised speech the country needed the new election to rid it of "the diseases of the old system".

"Developments in Syria and elsewhere have made it urgent to switch to the new executive system in order to take steps for our country's future in a stronger way," the president said in a live broadcast.

Mr Erdogan said he had made the decision after speaking to the head of the nationalist MHP party, Devlet Bahceli, who is expected to form an alliance with Mr Erdogan's ruling AK Party in the parliamentary polls.

  • Erdogan: Turkey's pugnacious president
  • Emotional Erdogan hails coup resisters

Why the rush?

Mark Lowen, BBC Turkey correspondent

This was a carefully choreographed dance.

After repeatedly ruling out early elections, the government wheeled out its coalition partner on Tuesday to make a U-turn, before staging a "discussion" on Wednesday and confirming a date even earlier than expected.

So why the rush? Cynics would say President Erdogan is trying to clip the wings of his main rival, Meral Aksener, who formed a new right-wing party just months ago.

And with the Turkish lira having reached record lows this year - it's the world's worst performing emerging-markets currency - a yawning current account deficit and stubbornly high inflation, Mr Erdogan possibly wanted to pre-empt any economic crash.

His supporters say he simply wants to bring clarity after last year's referendum to change Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential republic.

The benefits are clear: ride the wave of nationalism after the recent military offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria and catch the opposition off guard.

But the risk is that some voters will see it as a ploy and will punish a government for economic pain that's already biting.

  • How Meral Aksener went her own way

The constitutional changes, which the Turkish people narrowly backed in last year's referendum, include the abolition of the prime minister, whose powers would be assumed by an executive president.

The e xtended powers will only take effect after the presidential election.

The accelerated timetable also means Turkey will be voting under the state of emergency imposed since the failed coup in July 2016 which attempted to oust President Erdogan.

Image caption Analysts say Mr Erdogan's desicison may be to curb the increasing threat from opposition leaders like Meral Aksener

Meral Aksener, whose new nationalist Iyi (Good) Party split from Mr Bahceli's MHP to protest his alliance with Mr Erdogan, said hers was the "most prepared party" and announced she would stand for the presidency by collecting 100,000 signatures.

The opposition also welcomed the president's announcement. "Bring it on," said Bulent Tezca n, a spokesperson for the Republican People's Party (CHP).

  • Turkey's Erdogan rejects French talks offer
  • Erdogan says German leaders are enemies

Mr Tezcan said the country's state of emergency needed to be lifted immediately. "There cannot be an election under emergency rule. The country needs to be brought out of the emergency rule regime starting today."

Top Stories

Trump hails CIA chief's secret mission

CIA chief Mike Pompeo formed a "good relationship" with North Korea's leader, the US leader tweets.

18 April 2018 'American hero' lands stricken airliner 18 April 2018 Trump di smisses Stormy Daniels sketch 18 April 2018


Cuba after the Castros

How do you test for chemical weapons?

Barbara Bush, social justice campaigner

The mystery of the homesick mechanic who stole a plane


'Hey Starbucks, is it my skin colour?'


How Dut ch stations help blind travellers

Israel at 70 - seven major moments

Sweden's deadly problem with hand grenades


The town taken over by tumbleweed

Why you can trust BBC News

BBC News Services

  • On your mobile
  • On your connected tv
  • Get news alerts
  • Contact BBC News
Source: Google News Turkey | Netizen 24 Turkey

« Prev Post
Next Post »