Fourth term for Turkish PM possible, not on agenda

Fourth term for Turkish PM possible, not on agenda

LONDON - Reuters
Fourth term for Turkish PM possible, not on agenda

The AKP could change its rules for Erdoğan’s fourth term, Deputy PM Arınç says. AA photo

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) could change its rules to allow Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stand for a fourth term as prime minister in an “emergency” although such plans are not currently on the agenda, deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said Feb. 20.  

There has been speculation in Turkey that Erdoğan, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade, may try to remain prime minister in the next general election in 2015, even though under current party rules he cannot run again. 

He has long been expected to stand for president in an August vote. President Abdullah Gül is, in turn, seen as a possible candidate for head of the AKP and prime minister. 

But Erdoğan’s failure to establish the executive presidency he wanted to beef up the largely ceremonial role, and a graft scandal shaking his government, have fuelled speculation that he may seek to stay prime minister. 

“If we feel the need, we can change the principle (on three-term limits) even though it is not on our agenda yet,” Arınç told a small media briefing in London. 

“Even if we do this it will be in a democratic way, not in the Putin-Medvedev way,” he said, referring to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s 2012 appointment by President and former prime minister Vladimir Putin. 

Erdoğan said in October he would run for the presidency if asked to do so by his party, but has dismissed suggestions that he could go head to head with Gül in a showdown for the job.