President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on mayors from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to get ready for the 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections, citing the role of local governments as crucial for winning the next elections.
“I want you to get ready for the 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections instead of the municipal votes that will take place in 2024. We are all aware about the heavy costs the cities which are being run by the [Republican People’s Party] CHP are paying. We cannot tolerate this,” Erdoğan said at a meeting with the AKP mayors in the Kızılcahamam province of Ankara on Dec. 23.
“The first threshold we should overcome is the 2023 polls. If we can do that, victory in the 2024 polls will be facilitated,” he said.
The AKP headquarters and the mayors will work hand in hand to claim a big win in the next polls and the role of the municipalities will be crucial, Erdoğan said, calling on all the local governments to be inclusive.
“As you see, the opposition has also realized the importance of the local governments [for winning general elections]. But instead of delivering concrete services, they are focused on trying to change the public perception,” he suggested. Erdoğan blamed the opposition municipalities for propagating unfulfilled deeds.
“This is what the opposition municipalities are doing, in Istanbul and in Ankara,” he said, arguing that the mayors of these cities won’t be able to go out in public due to their failures.
Erdoğan also claimed the opposition mayors recruited 45,000 people with some of them having links with terror organizations.
He outlined 11 principles for the AKP mayors that included transparency, calling on them to avoid corruption and fraud.
Hurriyet Daily News