Turkish president announces early elections in June


By Middle East Affairs

President Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that Turkey would hold its presidential and parliamentary elections early on June 24, saying the country needs to make a quick switch to an executive presidency, Reuters reported.

The government didn’t originally want early elections, which were supposed to be scheduled for November 2019. Erdogan had barely won a referendum to change the constitution and create an executive presidency, but that won’t take effect until after the next presidential election.

According to Reuters, Erdogan said he decided on the early elections after Devlet Bahceli, head of the nationalist MHP party, brought up the idea.

“Even though the president and government are working in unison, the diseases of the old system confront us at every step we take,” Erdogan said in a live televised speech.

“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… We discussed Mr. Bahceli’s call with our relevant authorities. We came to the agreement that we should approach this early election positively.”

Reuters said Bahceli’s MHP party is expected to form an alliance with Erdogan’s ruling AK Party.

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