Turkish PM Davutoğlu changes venue of first election rally

Turkish PM Davutoğlu changes venue of first election rally

Turkish PM Davutoğlu changes venue of first election rally

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The recent clash between Turkey’s security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which took place in the Eastern Anatolian province of Ağrı on April 11, has apparently forced a change in the schedule of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s election rallies ahead of the June 7 parliamentary election. 

Davutoğlu, the leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), will start his election campaign with rallies in Erzurum and Sivas, although it was earlier announced that he would hold his first in the southeastern province of Hakkari.

The AKP’s election campaign will officially begin after the party’s candidate list is published in the Official Gazette, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on April 13.

Davutoğlu will hold his first rally in Erzurum on April 25 before proceeding to Sivas later on the same day, where he will hold the second rally, the agency reported, citing anonymous sources.

Speaking to the agency, those unnamed “authorities” recalled that the first rally had been moved from Hakkari, in order to hold it later to make it coincide with the opening of the under-construction airport in the province.”

Some news reports have suggested that Davutoğlu chose Erzurum and Sivas for their symbolic importance, as the two cities hosted national congresses in 1919, when the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, began organizing people for the War of Independence, laying the foundations of the Republic. 

Anadolu Agency reported that “Davutoğlu will kick off his journey of New Turkey” in Erzurum and Sivas.

The concept of “New Turkey” was introduced to the political lexicon by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, since when it has been frequently used by the ruling AKP. The transformation of the country’s parliamentary system to an executive presidential system is seen as being on the top of Davutoğlu’s upcoming election campaign in the name of the “New Turkey.”