Erdoğan urges lawmakers to focus on Istanbul elections

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged May 13 all ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers to “give their all” for the upcoming Istanbul elections.

“Istanbul is a city where representatives from 81 provinces live in. Thus, we need to turn this in our favor by meeting with foundations in Istanbul. For this, we need to work really hard,” Erdoğan said in his speech at an iftar dinner with AKP deputies in the capital Ankara.

“With the [Eid al-Fitr] holiday, you will completely focus on Istanbul. We are saying no to those wanting to travel to their hometowns for the holiday. We will celebrate [Ramadan] in [Istanbul]. Every one of our lawmakers should call their fellow citizens in Istanbul and ask for support for our candidate,” he added.

Erdoğan called on all lawmakers to put in a lot of hard work for the upcoming elections in June 23.

“We will prosper the AKP and Turkish politics with new visions, projects and people. The thing of primary importance in the short term is the re-election decision of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality,” he said.

The president said the Supreme Election Council’s (YSK) recent ruling of renewing elections for Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality was rightful.

“The answer is simple; they stole the votes. On one side there are vote thieves and on the other there are those protecting the national will,” he said, accusing the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for stealing votes in the elections. The CHP denies the accusations and says the AKP has no substantial evidence to back their claims.

The truth behind the Istanbul elections have been unveiled, Erdoğan said, adding that telling people about this, in person, is crucial for the re-election.

“They are asking, how can only the metropolitan municipality’s elections are being renewed while there are four ballot papers in the same envelope? The YSK is giving an answer to this but only those who are willing to listen are hearing,” Erdoğan said.

Turkey’s opposition parties have been asking why the elections were only cancelled for mayor of the metropolitan municipality, won by the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) candidate, but not in districts and district councils, of which the majority were won by the AKP.

The “faulty votes” that do not change the outcome for district mayors in 26 districts, change the outcome of the metropolitan mayor vote, Erdoğan said.

The entire nation is expecting services and reforms, according to Erdoğan.

“Politics is a way to earn people’s hearts. Hopefully we will pay our debt to our nation, who has been with us all along, by making all of these come true,” he said.

“We will prepare for the forthcoming period by winning people’s hearts without being disloyal and discriminating, offending, neglecting anyone, even if they break our hearts,” he added.

Erdoğan also said the AKP headquarters and parliamentary group should be working to provide services and reforms.

Hurriyet Daily News

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