Deputy PM: local poll showed presidential road open for Erdoğan
Deputy PM Bülent Arınç during an interview with Anadolu Agency. AA PhotoDeputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has maintained that the strong support for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the March 30 local elections is a crystal clear sign showing that Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would comfortably be elected if he decides to run for presidency in the upcoming August election.
“In my opinion, if our prime minister wants to be a candidate, Mr. [President Abdullah] Gül will show respect to this and support him. They will consult each other and one of them will express [the will],” Arınç said in an interview aired live on NTV news channel on April 4, when reminded of Gül’s recent remarks in which he stated that the exact day to speak about everything concerning the upcoming presidential elections in Turkey has arrived.
“Until March 30, a conviction suggesting ‘the road to Çankaya is closed to Erdoğan’ had erupted among opposition leaders and even some columnists,” Arınç said.
Çankaya is a byword for the presidential office in Turkish politics as a reference to the Çankaya Presidential Palace in the capital city of Ankara.
“But March 30 showed that the road to Çankaya is open. If we had held a general election today, in my opinion, we wouldn’t get less than 50 percent. If today’s trend goes on, I believe that he can get 51 percent in the first round comfortably,” Arınç said. “The president would not object to this decision if Erdoğan wants it,” he reiterated.