The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) should manage prospective changes within the party organizations in the healthiest way, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated on Aug. 9, reiterating his determination to reboot the party following the narrow result in Turkey’s April 16 referendum.
“We are determined to realize a serious change within our party ahead of the 2019 elections. We have to manage this change in the healthiest way in order to prevent the AKP from ending up like the parties that came before it,” Erdoğan said in a speech at an extended provincial advisory council meeting of the AKP in the Black Sea province of Giresun.
He noted that a “tough period of struggle” had already begun ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2019, saying the party would face difficulties if it does not “take lessons.”
“Right now a tough period of struggle is starting ahead of us. The 2019 elections are very important for Turkey and very important for us,” Erdoğan said.
“From now on, if you get just 49.9 percent of the vote you cannot be successful. We now have to win 50 percent plus one vote in order to win,” he added.
Erdoğan stressed that the 51.4 percent of “yes” votes cast during the April referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system “do not belong to the AKP,” while the 48.6 percent of “no” votes “do not belong to the [main opposition Republican People’s Party] CHP.”
“Do not forget that the AKP means Turkey. If the AKP weakens, Turkey weakens,” Erdoğan said.
He also repeated his warning that there was “metal weariness” in some of the party organizations, while noting that there were “some friends who have lost their way” over the party’s 16-year history.
“Metal weariness is not only an evaluation by me but also by my nation,” Erdoğan noted, urging the AKP organization to immediately launch works in preparation for the 2019 elections.