Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday announced his candidacy in the presidential elections for 2023, Duvar news site reported, as he called on the main opposition leader to do the same.
“I am announcing it now. The candidate of the People’s Alliance is Tayyip Erdoğan,’’ the Turkish leader said, referring his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) alliance with the far-right national Movement Party (MHP) in a speech at an AKP event in western İzmir province.
“Stop fıghting a runaway battle…. why don’t you become a candidate?” Erdoğan told the Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader. “You have no place to hide.’’
Erdoğan has called the next parliamentary and presidential elections, scheduled for June of 2023, Turkey’s centennial year, “a fork in the road” for the country and the nation. But an economic crisis is eroding support for the president, who has been in power for almost two decades. Erdoğan is trailing to several prominent opposition figures in multiple polls.
Annual inflation accelerated to 73.5 percent last month, according to the country’s the statistics agency, and the lira has lost almost a quarter of its value this year after slumping by 44 percent against the dollar in 2021.
“For us, it doesn’t matter who stands before us in the elections. We have entered into this battle with confidence in ourselves and with you (by our side),’’ Erdoğan told AKP supporters.
The CHP leads an opposition alliance including six parties with a shared platform focused on abolishing a presidential system of government in Turkey that granted vast executive powers to Erdoğan in 2018. The parties began the talks last year after opinion polls showed that Erdoğan and his AKP were suffering a decline in public support ahead of the next polls. The alliance has yet to formally announce its presidential candidate, but Kılıçdaroğlu has hinted at his candidacy.
Almost 60 percent of Turkish voters do not believe that Erdoğan can fix the country’s economy, according to a May survey by Turkish pollster Metropoll.