President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the entire nation to come together to resolve national issues and put aside political differences now that elections are over. He has vowed to stand tall against foreign assaults that aim to devastate the Turkish economy.
“It’s imperative that we must focus on our real agenda, particularly on economy and security by leaving political discussions over elections behind. It’s time to cool off the branding irons, to shake hands, to embrace and to strengthen our unity and togetherness,” President Erdoğan said at an address to national and international trade unionists at a conference in the Turkish capital on April 18.
He made the statement before convening his cabinet for the first time since the localelections on March 31.
Turkey has upheld the requirements of a democracy by holding local elections and should now leave all political debates behind, he suggested in his first statement after main opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) was declared the winner of Istanbul polls.
“We have successfully completed a marathon of elections. Elections have been performed in the spirit of a festival in Turkey as a state of democracy and rule of law. There were sure political discussions but it does not cast a shadow on the functioning of our democracy,” he stated.
Erdoğan recounted that his Justice and Development Party (AKP) issued appeals of the election results to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) in line with its right to do so. He called on everyone to respect the decisions made by the election watchdog.
The AKP will continue to follow the course of its appeals until the end, Erdoğan said.
“For us, elections will be over when the YSK will say the last word. Afterwards, we will continue our path. Politics require prioritizing the interest of the people and not your own interest,” he added.
Turkey has four years before the next elections and should capitalize on that period of stability by focusing on economic and security issues, the president said.
“Our objective in this four-and-a-half year period is to achieve the goals set for 2023 by increasing prosperity of our people and establishing the balance between freedoms and security,” Erdoğan said.
He reiterated that eliminating terrorists and growing the Turkish economy require the involvement of all segments of the society.
“When it comes to addressing issues concerning our national survival, we should act together with 82 million as the Alliance of Turkey by putting our political differences aside. We should shoulder this responsibility altogether,” he said.
Erdoğan lashes out at FT
One issue on the Turkish agenda is boosting the economy, Erdoğan said. He criticized some Western media outlets over their coverage of the state of the Turkish economy.
“There is a smear campaign against us. Some Western media outlets are in efforts to describe our economy as collapsed, finished… Whatever you do, whichever headlines you put on your papers, Turkey will stand tall and continue its path. We are now used to this media, these rag papers,” Erdoğan said.
The president singled out the Financial Times.
“’The Financial Times wrote ‘this and that’… Whatever you write. The situation of my country is well obvious,” he said. He noted that it’s not the first and won’t be the last time this sort of coverage is published by Western media.
“The dose of such attacks against us rises as we speak out more powerfully over global injustice. Hey, Financial Times, have you ever acknowledged the fact that Turkey hosts more than 4 million Syrians?”
Hurriyet Daily News