President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to gear up for the upcoming March 2019 local elections, saying that “competency and merits” will be the criteria while choosing mayor candidates.
“The local elections that will be held in March  are important for us to take actions in the upcoming five years in Turkey in a pace we desire. We need to get a more successful result in the local elections in terms of voting percentage and the number of mayoral seats. The more we are powerful in local administrations, the more effective service we will give in the presidential office and parliament,” Erdoğan told AKP lawmakers in parliament on Oct. 2
Erdoğan said the AKP’s 27th three-day-long consultation and assessment camp, to take place Oct. 5-7, will be an opportunity for the party to determine the “best road map” for the local elections’ strategy.
“In light of the lessons we have taken from the June 24 [presidential and parliamentary] elections, we will determine the best road map for March 2019. Just in the aftermath of the June 24 [elections], we launched preparations for the local election,” he said.
The president also urged the lawmakers not to demand their “kin” be nominated as candidates, emphasizing that “competency and merits” will be what they base their decision on.
“With the opening of parliament, we’ll have a better chance to counsel with you more often. Do not let anyone come to us saying: ‘This is my relative.’ Then if they are turned down, they should not be offended. Competency and merits are fundamental. I expect you to make the most contribution to our party and our cities. Bring us modest names. Do not bring us names that will look down on people,” Erdoğan said.
‘Triangle of evil’
Turkey‘s new budget will save it from the “triangle of evil” consisted of inflation, interest rates and foreign exchange rates, Erdoğan said, vowing to respond to attacks on the currency through GDP growth.
He also called on Turks to report unusual price hikes in stores, saying it was the government’s responsibility to raid the inventories of these stores if necessary.
“I call on my people: If there are unusual price differences in markets or elsewhere, report these to the municipality immediately,” he said.
“Wherever there are serious fluctuations in prices or stocks, it is our responsibility as the government to raid their stocks and do what is necessary,” Erdoğan added.