Fifth provincial head resigns from ruling AKP after Erdoğan warns of 'fatigue'
ANKARAThe ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) provincial head in the Central Anatolian province of Aksaray, Abdulkadir Karatay, joined recent resignations from the party, following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s warning against “fatigue” within the AKP.
In a written statement on Aug. 18, Karatay said he would not run for the post again.
The AKP’s Ağrı provincial chair Kemal Ataca’s resignation on Aug. 16 was followed by provincial heads of Hakkari, Şırnak, and Muş.
The president and the chair of the AKP Erdoğan recently expressed plans for a substantial change to the party’s organization and all provincial branches because they are suffering from “metal fatigue.”
“We will review and update all our provincial organizations in the cities, districts, and villages because there is a fatigue that we need to avoid. We have to get ready for the 2019 elections with more dynamic and hardworking teams,” Erdoğan told his AKP lawmakers in his first address as the party’s chairman on May 30.
Erdoğan was elected as the AKP chairman on May 21 in line with amendments that allowed him to restore his links to the AKP. He restructured the ruling party for the upcoming elections in 2019 following a system change in the aftermath of a constitutional referendum that passed charter amendments in controversial circumstances on April 16.
Last week, the AKP’s central decision-making body (MKYK) convened under the leadership of Erdoğan and reviewed work about the substantial reshuffle of the provincial organizations of the AKP with a detailed study of the heads of all 81 provinces.
In his visits to the AKP’s provincial organizations in the Black Sea region last week, Erdoğan openly urged party officials to leave their positions to others if they feel tired or exhausted. He repeatedly underlined that the AKP suffers from what he calls a “fatigue” and that requires a substantial regeneration of the party to have a better race in the upcoming polls.
“The good old days where we could be the government with 34.5 percent of votes or even with 49.5 percent are over. You know that we have amended the constitution through the April referendum. Now and then, we need at least 50 percent of votes plus one. That’s why our job is more difficult now,” Erdoğan had said.
“Change is a natural phenomenon for the AKP, which was founded to meet the demands for change in Turkey,” Erdoğan stated at an event marking the 16th anniversary of the AKP in Ankara’s Sincan district on Aug. 14, adding that the party went through changes since its foundation in all of its levels, but this time it needs “much more radical changes.”
“For Turkey’s stability, the reputation of the state, and the happiness of its people, we have been aiming for 50 percent [of votes]. We actually set this aim exactly 16 years ago. Now, for the 2019 elections, we add only one voter to this goal, meaning 50 percent plus one,” he said, while calling on party members to “go from door to door” to canvass votes above 50 percent.
Saying that reshuffles in the AKP cadres will be finished by February 2018, Erdoğan noted that “this can’t be seen as a “discharging move.”
“This is a new process. A change of duties is absolutely natural in this path of service that we view as a relay race,” he said, adding that the party has 11 million members, but aims to double it by 2019.