Turkish PM Davutoğlu vows not to follow populist election campaign

Turkish PM Davutoğlu vows not to follow populist election campaign

Turkish PM Davutoğlu vows not to follow populist election campaign

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The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will not resort to any populist propaganda while campaigning in the run-up to the June 7 parliamentary election, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has promised, stressing the AKP’s wish for a “clean” Turkey.

“A lot of political leaders will come up and perhaps present some impossible promises. We haven’t done this and we will not. We have never fallen into that trap … We have never adopted populism,” Davutoğlu said April 9, stating that his AKP, in power since 2002, had always focused on presenting real, “lasting” services instead of adopting populist policies.

The prime minister delivered a speech at a collective opening ceremony hosted by the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry.

“We put the dreamer Kılıçdaroğlu’s mindset in the grave…when you have this much success, people pride themselves on their accomplishments. We know what happened to the SSK [Social Security Institution], which he received in the 1990s without any debt,” he said, referring to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s past as the head of the SSK.

In late March, in a counter move against the CHP leader, who vowed to give two bonus wages to 10 million Turkish pensioners, Davutoğlu pledged a pension hike as part of his pre-election campaign.

“We are striving toward a free and clean Turkey. We are working to leave a clean Turkey to the generations after us,” he said.

Referring to the time before the AKP first came to power in 2002, Davutoğlu said: “[Turkey] needed help. The Turkey that used to lie in the front of IMF’s door to get small loans is now mighty. We do not need anybody’s help. We are the one who helps now… There were bad times when a torn-down city was being cleaned with a sewage truck. There used to be a smell. But that smell will no longer come from Turkey. The stinky Turkey went away and now, there is a good-smelling Turkey. Stinky both physically and ethically, [the smells] are all gone.”