Erdoğan says to meet with MHP leader, after call for early election


Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday he would meet with the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), after Devlet Bahçeli floated the prospect of an early election.

Bahçeli suggested the presidential election, scheduled for November 2019, could be brought forward to August this year. The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and the MHP will enter the next elections under an electoral alliance.

Erdoğan said he would meet with Bahceli on Wednesday.

Operation Olive Branch

“Since the onset of Operation Olive Branch, 4,205 terrorists have been neutralized. Since Jan. 20, a total of 550 PKK terrorists have been neutralized – 209 domestically and 341 in northern Iraq,” Erdoğan said.

Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated Afrin town center, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.

Constitutional change to be fully implemented with Nov. 2019 elections

Expected changes to the Turkish constitution will be fully implemented with the presidential elections scheduled for November 2019, Erdoğan said on Tuesday, in an apparent response to a suggestion for early polls.

Erdoğan’s comments came after the head of the nationalist MHP party suggested holding presidential elections in August this year.

Turks backed a constitutional change last year to change the constitution. The changes are due to become effective in the next elections.

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