Erdoğan calls on Istanbul AKP grassroots to mobilize for June 23 polls
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he sees renewed Istanbul Municipal elections on June 23 as the “realization of national will.” He called on the traditional ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) electorate, who did not cast votes in the March 31 elections, to go to the polls on June 23.
“I hope those who regret [not going to the polls in the March 31 elections] will make amends on the point of national will,” Erdoğan said speaking at an iftar dinner with citizens in the Istanbul province.
Asked about Istanbul’s Kurdish electorate that did not support the AKP March 31, Erdoğan said his party was the political establishment that “removed ethical impositions,” and his party has no problems with the Kurdish citizens. Erdoğan said his government provided cultural and educational services to the eastern and southeastern parts of Turkey. The government “embraces” all of its citizens whether they are Kurdish, Laz, Caucasian, Georgian or Abkhaz, Erdoğan stated.
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan on May 27 met with district heads of the AKP in Istanbul and urged them to make efforts on the field for the party’s June 23 election campaign. The president recalled that there were some 2.3 million members of the AKP in Istanbul.
One party member should bring two more electorates in favor of the AKP, he said stressing that grassroots members should meet their obligations. He reminded the audience that the women’s branch of the AKP has more than 4.5 million members while the youth branch has nearly 1.5 million members.
President marks the anniversary of May 27 coup
Erdoğan on May 27 observed the 59th anniversary of Turkey’s first-ever military coup.
“May 27, 1960, will be remembered as the first military coup and a black stain on Turkish history,” said the president in a tweet. He also recalled that former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes was executed after the coup.
“I remember late Adnan Menderes and his friends who were executed by the coup plotters,” Erdoğan added. The decade-long Democrat Party (DP) government was ousted by military junta, which arrested, tried and jailed the DP’s leading members.
Accused of violating the Constitution as well as embezzling money from state funds, the ministers were put on trial by a military court on the island of Yassıada, located in the Sea of Marmara to the southeast of Istanbul. Then-President Celal Bayar, Menderes, Foreign Minister Fatin Rüştü Zorlu and Finance Minister Hasan Polatkan were sentenced to death. Bayar later received clemency from the sentence.