Early elections not on agenda: Turkey's ruling AKP
Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Mahir Ünal has refuted the latest discussion on the possibility of rescheduling local elections, adding that the ruling party has no such agenda.
“Our agenda does not include any early elections. Turkey has just come out of an election and it is looking forward,” Ünal said to a group of journalists on July 3 in the parliament.
His comments came after the AKP’s move to bring the ordinary congress date earlier was interpreted as a preparation for early local elections. Some AKP officials have also fueled rumors, stating that bringing the election earlier would be beneficial.
The ruling party’s priority is to implement the new executive presidential system in the following days, said Ünal, refuting the rumors. They “do not find it right to begin discussions on early elections at a time when Turkey has just come out of an election period,” he said.
Imprisoned mafia figure ‘threat’ to journalists
Ünal also answered a question concerning the open letter of Alaatting Çakıcı, a convicted mafia leader, in which he threatened a group of journalists.
“We have said the threats against the press are unacceptable and that it should be investigated if these expressions are of Alaattin Çakıcı’s,” Ünal said.
His comments came after Çakıcı, one of the most infamous Turkish criminals, threatened six columnists and the owner of daily Karar by issuing an open letter calling on “those who love” him to “punish” them earlier on June 29.
He accused them of supporting the “evil alliance,” referring to the “Nation’s Alliance” formed by four opposition parties against the “People’s Alliance” of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s party the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
“Threats against press institutions and journalists should be investigated and if there is such a situation, the judiciary will do what is necessary,” said the AKP spokesperson.
“The AKP will never consent to open threats to press institutions and journalists, against press freedom and free expression,” he added.