Erdoğan unveils manifesto for re-election bid
The leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has announced a manifesto ahead of the June 24 presidential and parliamentary snap elections, vowing to strengthen “social justice” in every sphere of life.
“Our priority will be to establish the institutional structure of justice, and in this way, [to establish] social justice in every field entirely after June 24,” he said, addressing the attendees of the AKP’s provincial congress in Istanbul on May 6.
“In economy, public services, work life, politics and all other fields, establishing justice will continue to be the main goal of our policies,” said the president.
“With the presidential government system, national income will increase and since it will spread further in the base, the gap between income groups will close rapidly,” he added.
“Turkey is becoming an important power in the world. Turkey will be a global power, a leading force,” said Erdoğan.
“Inflation, interest rates and the current account deficit will fall, the Turkish economy will become more resilient to external shocks and financial attacks and Turkey’s investment appeal will increase,” he said.
Speaking to thousands of supporters, Erdoğan also said the new executive presidential system, which Turkey will switch to after the elections would give new momentum to the economy, and he promised to lower interest rates and inflation following the elections.
The system change will also bring more democracy, according to Erdoğan.
“[The new system] will make the legislation more prestigious, the administration more powerful and the judiciary more independent,” the president said.
“With a complete separation of powers, the parliament will focus on making laws, the government will focus on efficient actions, and the judiciary will focus on revealing justice. Since the national will is going to be in the center of politics, democracy will be in effect with all its institutions and rules,” he said.
Erdoğan, who was prime minister from 2003 to 2014, has served at the top post since being Turkey’s first popularly-elected president in 2014.
Should he win the June 24 election, Erdoğan would be Turkey’s first leader under the executive presidency system, doing away with the prime minister’s post, among other changes.
Erdoğan also said that Turkey will carry out new military operations along its borders after its two previous offensives into Syria.
“We will not give up on constricting terrorist organizations. We will add new ones to the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations. Our soldiers are ready for new missions,” he said.
The goal of joining EU alive
On the other hand, Erdoğan vowed to keep Turkey’s bid to join the European Union on track despite Ankara’s counterparts in Europe not showing the same determination on the matter.
Turkey began talks to join the EU in 2005, 18 years after applying. While a series of factors slowed negotiations, notably the Cyprus issue and resistance in Germany and France to Turkish membership, since 2016 membership talks have all but collapsed.