Erdogan to return to AKP on May 2: Turkish PM

Erdogan to return to AKP on May 2: Turkish PM

Erdogan to return to AKP on May 2: Turkish PM

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will become a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on May 2, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said.

“We will hold a group meeting at our party headquarters on May 2. The party membership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be reactivated at this meeting,” the prime minister said in Antalya. 

“We will happily invite our president back to our party. There is no barrier stopping him from becoming the chairman of the party of which he is the founder. But, the first step will be making him a member of our party again,” Yıldırım said.

The party is planning to hold an extraordinary convention on May 21 to elect Erdoğan as its chairman in line with constitutional amendments that now permit the head of the nation to retain links with his political party. 

Erdoğan had to resign from his party after he was elected as president in August 2014, in line with the constitution, and was replaced by former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. Current AKP chairman and Prime Minister Yıldırım took the helm from Davutoğlu in May 2016.  

The “yes” outcome in the April 16 referendum annulled a constitutional article that required the president to sever his party ties.

The decision for the extraordinary convention is likely to be taken during the meeting of the AKP’s central-decision making body (MKYK) next week with plans to hold the convention on May 21. The cabinet reshuffle is also expected at the end of next week.

Erdoğan is planning to ring in comprehensive changes in the cabinet by giving chances to some new names while transferring some ministers to different jobs in the AKP. As such, the cabinet reshuffle is expected to occur before the convention on May 21, so that all preparations for the leadership change can be accomplished. Erdoğan will also appoint new deputy leaders in the party and in parliament.