| 13 April 2024, Saturday |

Erdogan hints at May 14 general election

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday signalled that he intended to call the next general election for May 14.

Turkey’s next general election is officially due to be held on June 18.

But officials have been hinting for weeks that they may bring the polls forward because of religious holidays and school exams.

Erdogan delivered a speech to his ruling party in which he recalled the day contemporary Turkey held its first free election in 1950.

That May 14 vote was won by Adnan Menderes – a prime minister who was toppled by a military junta in 1960 and executed a year later.

Erdogan has often compared himself to Menderes during his two-decade rule as prime minister and president.

“The late Menderes said on May 14, 1950 ‘enough, the people will have their say’, and emerged victorious at the ballot box,” Erdogan said in televised remarks.

“Our people will give their answer to the (opposition) on the same day 73 years later.”

Erdogan enters the election with his approval ratings bruised by a year-long economic crisis that saw inflation touch 85 percent.

But the opposition has still not united around a single candidate to field in the race.

The polls will also challenge Erdogan’s control of parliament.

His ruling party is currently in an alliance with a far-right party whose support has dwindled in the past few years.

“Tough election to call – seems as though momentum is back with Erdogan,” emerging market economist and veteran Turkey watcher Timothy Ash tweeted moments after Erdogan’s remarks.

  • AFP