Erdogan, Hunting to Solidify Power at Turkey, Phone Calls for Early Elections

FETO and its USA -based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and almost 2,200 injured.

Erdogan said Wednesday that elections would be brought forward to June 24, more than a year earlier than planned, in order to enable the president to take on executive powers as authorized in last year's referendum on constitutional reforms.

The snap elections are expected to be officially decided after parliamentary approval and other procedures.

And now, in June 2018, the country will hold both parliamentary and presidential elections, which will be the fifth and the sixth elections in Turkey in the last five years.

The system was changed in an April 2017 referendum that was narrowly won by the government's "yes" camp. That means that we will be waiting for November 3, 2019, gritting our teeth.

Erdogan said the authorities would have preferred to "grit our teeth" and wait until November 2019 but the situation in neighboring Iraq and Syria "made it essential for Turkey to overcome the uncertainties ahead as soon as possible". "We came to the agreement that we should approach this early election positively".

Presidential powers have been substantially strengthened through constitutional amendments following a referendum in April of past year.

Turkey's President Erdogan announces snap election in June

The news of early elections slightly affected exchange markets as Turkey's lira rose against the dollar, and was at 4.0602 at 1314 GMT while Turkey's benchmark bond lost its yield some 10 basis points.

Bahceli supported the referendum a year ago, saying it would result in a "strong political power to ensure that the Turkish Republic survives into the future".

Turkey declared a state of emergency for the first time on July 20, 2016 following a deadly coup attempt by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

Three weeks after the attempted putsch, Bahceli attended a rally in support of the elected government in Istanbul with other key political leaders at the request of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A meeting in Ankara between Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Bahceli on October 17 followed the rally.

He said that the country must make change to become an executive presidency. Earlier this year, his ruling his conservative, Justice and Development party reached an election alliance with Mr Bahceli's MHP.

"The presidential system will go into force at the end of 2019".

  • Tracy Klein