Erdogan vows more cross-border offensives in election manifesto

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  • Erdogan made a series of promises about the economy and uniting the country during a rally
  • Experts say Erdogan wants to exploit the rising nationalist feeling after an operation in Syria

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday vowed to launch further cross-border offensives against terror groups as he revealed his ruling party’s manifesto ahead of snap elections on June 24.

Erdogan made a series of promises about the economy and uniting the country during a rally in Istanbul attended by several thousand people.
The Turkish head of state last month announced snap presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 to the surprise of Turkish politics observers.

Experts say Erdogan wants to exploit the rising nationalist feeling after an operation in Syria this year and to hold polls before the economy worsens.

After June 24, Turkey will implement constitutional changes approved in an April 2017 referendum to create an executive presidency which expands the head of state’s powers.
Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002 and has since remained the country’s biggest political force.

“June 24 is going to be a milestone for Turkey,” Erdogan said.
The president said Turkey would launch cross-border offensives, similar to previous military operations in Syria, adding that Turkey would never give up its fight against terror.

“Turkey will launch additional offensives like Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations to clear its border of terror organizations in the new era,” Erdogan said.

Operation Euphrates Shield took place between August 2016 and March 2017 against the Daesh group, while the Olive Branch offensive targeted the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in its western enclave of Afrin earlier this year.

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