President Erdoğan urges party grassroots for hard work until 2023
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Jan. 13 urged his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members to work hard as if “every day is an election day” until 2023 when the country is scheduled to run for presidential and parliamentary elections.
“My biggest expectation is for you to see each day as an election day and work until 2023,” he said, addressing the provincial congresses of the AKP in the provinces of Kırşehir, Kırıkkale, Yozgat, and Sivas via video link.
“It means that those who do not work day and night to win the hearts of the nation aspire to the wrong duty in the wrong place,” he stated.
The AKP will be victorious in the 2023 elections, “as it did” in every other election in the past 20 years, the president said.
“Hopefully, we will be represented in parliament with an overwhelming majority in the 2023 elections and we will win the presidential election again. As the People’s Alliance, both as the AK Party, as the MHP, and as the BBP, the People’s Alliance is getting stronger and marching to the future,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey will go to presidential and parliamentary polls in June 2023, both Erdoğan and his ally, Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said many times despite the opposition parties’ suggestion that the government will call snap elections before 2023.
Expressing pride in the increasing number of members of the AKP, Erdoğan said in 2020 alone, the party increased its membership by one million despite the difficult circumstances due to the pandemic. He said this proves that people are putting their trust in the AKP.
His party is the one with the highest capacity to rejuvenate itself, the president added.
Calling on the AKP members to knock on the door of everyone, he said, “Media and social media channels are of course important. However, the main determinant in politics is face-to-face encounters.”
Erdoğan also slammed main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, recalling a recent statement of the latter which identified Erdoğan as “so-called president.”
The president said Kılıçdaroğlu was “not aware of the responsibilities granted to the president,” while the president assumes political identity at the same time.
He was referring to a constitutional change that paved the way for the presidents to keep the helm of their political parties.
Erdoğan said Kılıçdaroğlu “lost every election” and if he had “dignity and a little respect for himself,” he would quit the leadership of the CHP.
“I believe they will eliminate this mentality as soon as possible,” Erdoğan stated.
Kılıçdaroğlu on Jan.10 referred to Erdoğan as a “so-called president” while criticizing the president for targeting opposition newspaper daily Sözcü. Erdoğan filed a lawsuit against the CHP leader on Jan. 11 for his remarks.
Putin, Erdoğan discuss outcomes of trilateral summit on Karabakh
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Erdoğan on Jan. 13 had a phone conversation on the trilateral meeting held on Nagorno-Karabakh in Moscow.
According to a statement from the Turkey’s Communications Directorate, the two leaders discussed steps for strengthening relation between Turkey and Russia.
The formation of Turkey-Russia Ceasefire Monitoring Center and all military actions taken in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were evaluated during the conversation.
Turkey would provide the necessary support and contributions on behalf of peace in the new era, Erdoğan told his Russian counterpart.
Stating that they want to create the conditions that will enable Azerbaijanis and Armenians to live together in Nagorno-Karabakh without the need for peace forces or observation activities, President Erdoğan said that when this happens, they would once again show the world the constructive results of the Turkish-Russian partnership.
On Jan. 11, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan held their first meeting since a Russia-brokered deal ended hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint declaration after the meeting held in Moscow. They signed an agreement to create new transportation infrastructure aimed at “unblocking” the region’s many closed borders.
The agreement of Nov. 10 between the three countries ending the 44-day Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have generally been fulfilled, Putin said, adding that Russian military units in the region were carrying out their duties temporarily.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory, and seven adjacent regions.