Erdoğan promises ‘more democracy, strong economy’ after June 24 elections
Broadened freedoms and rights, a stronger administrative system and a strong economy are among the main promises of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced while unveiling his manifesto for the June 24 early elections and introducing his candidates for parliament.
“The new era will be the era of a strong parliament and strong government. These two basic powers will be complemented by an independent judiciary. In the new period the parliament will be stronger, the government will be stronger and the independent judiciary will be more effective,” Erdoğan said on May 24, reading the manifesto.
The AKP’s 360-page manifesto stressed on the new executive system, approved by the 2017 referendum on constitutional amendments, which will fully come into force after parliamentary and presidential elections are held on June 24.
“With the presidential executive system, the principle of the separation of powers will have a ground to be implemented in a healthier manner, while the executive branch will have well-coordinated and efficient functions,” the manifesto read.
The ruling party also pledged to establish a “stronger democracy,” stating that the AKP will aim to implement an understanding of “equal citizenship” which “embraces everybody regardless of their age, gender, socio-economic status, ethnic identity, religion or sect.”
“We will upgrade our state of democracy to a higher level,” he stressed.
“We will give legal status to İrfan centers and cemevis [Alevi house of worship],” the manifesto vowed, stating that the AKP “will be in dialogue with Alevi opinion leaders upon the basis of democratic consensus.”
“Non-Muslim citizens’ basic rights and freedoms and their freedom to practice their religion will continue to be under the responsibility of the state of law,” it read.
In its manifesto, the AKP also pledged to “protect everybody’s rights and law,” while also vowing “we will continue to keep the reform process alive in order to operate the judicial system more transparently, efficiently and with more accountability.”
The manifesto said Turkey’s decades-long Kurdish question was a matter of democracy, but did not promise to revisit the peace process, which previous AKP governments had always vowed to continue.
‘Measures on economy to be taken after polls’
The manifesto delivered strong messages about the economy, as Erdoğan promised that Turkey will join high-income countries by 2023.
Erdoğan did not speak about the ongoing decline of the Turkish Lira against foreign currencies, but he did say the government will take measures to fight against high inflation rates.
“Strict measures in the fight against inflation will be taken immediately after the June 24 elections,” Erdoğan stated.
“Confidence and stability will continue to be the merits of our economy, whose engine will continue to be growth.”
State of emergency ‘is necessity’
The AKP manifesto also stated that the state of emergency “is a necessity” in order to ensure national security and that it would maintain the rule.
“We will maintain the state of emergency rule until national security and peace is fully established for our citizens without harming their basic rights and freedoms,” it read.
The ruling party criticized the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), which accuses the AKP of instrumentalizing the state of emergency rule and of staging a “controlled coup” on July 15 to consolidate the latter’s power.
“The main opposition’s allegations that July 15 was a controlled coup is a shame for democratic politics,” it read.
Information technologies over anti-terror
The manifesto also stated that the ruling party would implement information technology projects in its fight on “terror propaganda.”
“We will not allow propaganda of violence. We will develop projects in the field of information technology in order to block illegal content that incites violence on the internet,” it said.