Akşener vows to be ‘unifying’ if elected
Pınar Erdoğan - ANKARA
İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has vowed to be the “unifying” president of Turkey if elected as the head of the nation in the June 24 snap elections, while unveiling her election manifesto for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary polls.
“The power of the state has recently turned into a means of pressure on citizens. The state cannot see a citizen as a threat and cannot discriminate against them,” Akşener said in her statement as she launched her election campaign in Ankara on May 14.
“All 80 million [citizens] have the same rights. Not one is above the other and not one is beneath the other. All 80 million are first class citizens,” she said, asking participants to show their Turkish identification cards.
Criticizing the current state of public order, the executive system, foreign policy, education, justice, economy and security issues in Turkey, her speech focused on “managing the state administration.”
“There has been a management void, which has been growing in recent years because the entire state structure has become focused on pleasing one person … We are coming to fill this void,” said the İYİ party leader.
Akşener said “state services” should be handled in a “non-discriminatory” fashion, vowing to “embrace 80 million.” Addressing the crisis in the “executive system,” she said “democratic participation, a strong parliament and national will is irreplaceable.”
Transition period needed
“We are planning a transition period for the return of the parliamentary system. We will never allow chaos to prevail. We will never adopt an understanding, which is fed on chaos and crisis,” she said, adding that a “good justice and judicial system should be supported by a strong democracy.”
“We have to save the law from the hands of politicians,” she said.
The former Interior Minister, Meral Akşener stressed her party’s “anti-terror” approach stating that “terror is the biggest obstacle to the development of foreign policy.”
“Terror cannot be viewed as a tool that can be controlled, used from time to time, and deactivated,” she said.
“No state should tolerate any terror organization, or approach them with an understanding based on their interests when it suits them, and vice versa when it does not,” added the İYİ party leader.
“State leaders cannot negotiate with terror organizations,” she said.
Akşener defined her foreign policy as “state foreign policy,” defining “being a state” as “producing policy over making people live, not die.”
“If you act like a state, there will not be Afrin,” she said, referring to the Turkish military’s operation in Syria’s northwestern province of Afrin.
“There will not be a flow of migrants,” and her party has “prepared a determined policy on migration,” added the İYİ party leader.
“Everyone is happy at home [in their country]” and they plan to have a “fast-breaking meal with migrants in Syria in 2019,” Akşener said.
“A strong Iraq and a strong Syria means a strong Turkey” and the development of the countries in the region “is a benefit to Turkey,” she said.
“In the new world order, Turkey should be mentioned with the concept of ‘economic geography,’ not with its geopolitical position, whose meaning is under question,” Akşener said.
Economy and pledges
She also proposes to ensure “fair growth” in the economy by “targeting all income groups, within the public and private sectors and balanced growth by protecting low-income groups.”
“We will give all our energy to the production,” Akşener said.
The İYİ party leader also pledged to close the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) and to open a Kuleli Military High School and Işıklar Military High School.
Akşener said the İYİ Party would make all bridges and highways free of charge and cities would be administrated within “new city planning.” She also said they would open small-scale hospitals that would be accessible to all.
The first thing she would like to do is to dismiss the legislation that proposes the separation of universities, she said.