Turkey is at a “turning point” with the adoption of an executive presidential system, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on April 29.
“This milestone will be a point for Turkey’s breakthrough,” Erdoğan said in an address to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members at a provincial meeting.
In the same speech he praised the Turkish military’s “determined” operations in the ongoing offensive in the northwestern Syrian district of Afrin and in parts of northern Iraq.
“We are continuing our fight in [northern Iraq’s] Gabar, Cudi, Tendurek, Qandil and Bestler Creek [areas]. Currently, the number of terrorists neutralized in Afrin [northwestern Syria] has reached 4,500, while over 300 terrorists have been neutralized in northern Iraq,” Erdoğan said.
He vowed that the government will “not allow” the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, a former close ally of the government that the authorities now call the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), to “divide Turkey.”
Erdoğan also accused the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) of “selling the will of the nation,” blasting the transfer of 15 CHP deputies to the İYİ (Good) Party to allow the latter to compete in the election.
“How could you sell you will so cheaply? This is a new embarrassment in our political history,” he said.
On April 22, 15 CHP MPs joined the İYİ Party to secure the latter’s participation in the upcoming early presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for June 24.
AKP-MHP alliance well ahead in polls: Erdoğan
Speaking ahead of his departure for an official visit to Uzbekistan and South Korea, Erdoğan declined to comment on a question regarding former President Abdullah Gül, who recently announced he would not be running for the presidency in June after fevered speculation.
“The election arena is open to everyone,” he only said.
On opinion polls regarding the snap election on June 24, Erdoğan simply said they show the AKP’s alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) “well ahead.”
‘Deal between North and South Korea good for our relations’
Meanwhile, he also welcomed the historic deal between North and South Korea.
“Our visit to South Korea has a distinct meaning because at will come at a time of major developments on the Korean Peninsula. I believe that the coming together of the South Korean president and the North Korean leader in a historic summit on April 27 will give a different richness to our relations with them too,” Erdoğan stated.
“We would like negotiations launched for nuclear disarmament to be successful. We especially hope that a lasting peace that has been anticipated for 10 years will be established on the Korean Peninsula,” he added.