Turkey’s Erdogan Announces Snap Elections

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photo Source: Russian President's government website
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photo Source: Russian President's government website

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish President, has called for snap parliamentary and presidential elections to be held on June 24.

The election was supposed to be held more than a year after the announced date. The parliamentary and presidential election was scheduled for November 2019.

On Wednesday, President Erdogan said in an address from the presidential palace that Turkey needed to switch to an executive presidency soon to ensure stability.

Turkish President said the election commission will have to finalize the date but insists on beginning the preparations.

Erdogan announced the election date after a meeting with the Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli.

Mr. Bahceli said Turkey will go for an early election just a day before the announcement of the Turkish President.

Turkey was transformed into an executive presidency after a constitutional referendum in 2017 when Erdogan’s campaign in favor of the constitutional amendment won by a slight margin.

This call of an early election comes in a time when Turkey is full of nationalist sentiment following a series of Turkish military operation inside Syria to fight against the Kurdish forces.

In his address, Erdogan said Turkey needs strong leadership to deal with the challenges it is facing today.

“Be it the cross-border operations in Syria, or incidents of historic importance centered in Syria and Iraq, they have made it imperative for Turkey to overcome uncertainties quickly,” Erdogan said in his address.

If elected, Mr. Erdogan will have the power of appointing a vice president, ministers, high-level officials, dissolve parliament and issue executive decrees.

Mr. Erdogan’s AK Party has reached an election alliance with Nationalist MHP led by Mr. Bahceli earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Turkish parliament has extended the state of emergency by three months on Wednesday. The parliament’s move to extend the state of emergency, however, was not unexpected.

The European Union has repeatedly criticized the measures of the Turkish government following a failed coup in 2016.

The European Union alleges that the measures taken by the government curtail civil and political rights.

“The broad scale and collective nature, and the disproportionality of measures taken since the attempted coup under the state of emergency, such as widespread dismissals, arrests, and detentions, continue to raise serious concerns,” the EU report said.

In response to the EU report, Yasin Aktay, an advisor Erdogan said, “The EU acts with prejudice against Turkey and lacks empathy in its approach to the terror threat on our country.”

Mr. Aktay added: “Many member states easily support the propaganda against Turkey as they are against its EU bid. They use the terror threat in Turkey as a trump card for corrupting the country’s image, trying to show Turkey as a country without democracy.”

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