Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party will announce its candidates for upcoming parliamentary elections on May 25, its spokesman said on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters in the capital Ankara, Mahir Unal said that a meeting to announce the party’s election candidates will be held on May 25.
Last month, Turkish parliament passed a bill calling for early elections on June 24.
“We will introduce you with our candidates and our campaign concept,” Unal said, adding AK Party‘s election songs will also be revealed during the meeting.
A total of 7,340 people have applied for being AK Party candidates at the elections, Unal said.
He also criticized 15 lawmakers of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), who last month joined newly-formed IYI (Good) Party and later moved back to the CHP.
Erdoğan receives opposition CHP presidential candidate
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received main opposition Republican People Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem Ince late on Wednesday.The meeting at the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party headquarters in Ankara lasted for 40 minutes.AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Mustafa Elitas and CHP Group Deputy Chairman Engin Altay also participated in the meeting.After the meeting, Ince told reporters that he spoke with Erdogan and wished him and his party success in the forthcoming elections.Elitas said Erdogan and Ince had a friendly conversation and wished each other success.Last month, the parliament passed a bill calling for early elections on June 24, cementing Turkey’s move to a presidential system.In an April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters approved the switch from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.
Six candidates to run for Turkey’s presidential election
Turkey’s Supreme Election Board has released an unofficial candidates list for the June 24 presidential elections.According to the list — which can be objected to until May 11 — six candidates will run for the presidency in Turkey: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Muharrem Ince, Meral Aksener, Selahattin Demirtas, Temel Karamollaoglu and Doğu Perincek.This April, parliament passed a bill for early elections on June 24, cementing Turkey’s move to a presidential system.In an April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters approved the switch from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party are set to enter the June 24 parliamentary and presidential polls as an election alliance.The MHP-AK Party alliance is supporting Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking his second term as president.Erdoğan has served as president since 2014 — Turkey’s first popularly elected president. Before that, he served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014.Should he win the June election, Erdoğan would be Turkey’s first leader under the presidential system, doing away with the prime minister’s post, among other changes.Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has nominated Muharrem Ince as its presidential candidate for the June 24 early elections.In a rally in the capital Ankara, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu formally announced the CHP’s choice of Ince as their presidential hopeful.The opposition IYI (Good) Party is circulating a petition to make party leader Meral Aksener their candidate in the June 24 presidential elections.Aksener surpassed 100,000 signatures to be a presidential candidate in the upcoming elections.On April 22, fifteen deputies from Turkey’s main opposition party CHP resigned to join the IYI Party to make it eligible to form a group in parliament.The opposition Felicity (Saadet) Party declared its Chairman Temel Karamollaoglu as their presidential candidate.Karamollaoglu also surpassed 100,000 signatures to be a presidential candidate.The opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP) announced jailed ex-Chairman Selahattin Demirtas as its presidential candidate.In November 2016, Demirtas together with 12 HDP lawmakers, were arrested on terror-related charges. Demirtas remains in custody pending trial.Lastly, Doğu Perincek — chairman for Vatan Party — surpassed 100,000 votes to become eligible for being presidential candidate.
AK Party begins interview process for MP candidates
Nationwide interviews for over 7,000 candidates who applied to become members of parliament of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party are ongoing. A total of 1,388 candidates applied for the seat of Istanbul alone, and the interviews for the coveted positions started on Tuesday.The interviews last five minutes and are held at the party headquarters. There are a total of 14 commissions comprised of five people who evaluate the interviews.Opposition MP gets prison term for terrorist propagandaInterviews focus on local demographicsDuring the interviews, the candidates are asked about the socio-economic and demographic structure of the area they are running for. They are also asked about their projects and whether they are members of nongovernmental organizations. Additionally, the candidates must answer questions like “Are you recognized in your area?” and “Are you ambitious?”Local and international developmentsThe candidates are quizzed about domestic and international developments, as well as Turkey’s cross-border counter-terrorism operations. Their views regarding the Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield operations are asked.Turkey to launch new operations to clear borders from terrorists, says ErdoğanPresentation is importantInterviewers also evaluate the presentation of candidates. Males without a tie or suit are asked questions about their attire. Generally, the candidates tend to say: “This is how I am. I don’t wear a tie. Everybody knows me to be like this.”Fourteen commissions oversee the interviewsThe interviews are carried out by 14 commissions which are chaired by AK Party’s deputy general managers, members of the Central Decision Board and members of parliament as well as women and youth groups.Upcoming election will be an ‘Ottoman slap’ for those who want to divide Turkey: ErdoğanAK Party’s deputy general managers Cevdet Yılmaz, Hayati Yazıcı, Vedat Demiröz, Mustafa Ataş, Öznur Çalık, Ahmet Sorgun, Harun Karacan, Çiğdem Karaaslan, Ravza Kavakcı, Erol Kaya, Mahir Ünal, Mehdi Eker, Fatih Şahin and Hamza Dağ head the commissions.Those who pass the initial interview are presented to President and AK Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after they successfully pass the security check in a report prepared by the party’s deputy general managers.
Unal also said that the party was not planning to hold any rally in Europe except Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rally in Bosnia as there was a very limited time left in the elections.
On June 24, Turkey will hold both presidential and parliamentary elections.
Turkey’s first popularly-elected President Erdogan has served at the top post since 2014. Before that, he served as prime minister, from 2003 to 2014.
Should he win the June 24 election, Erdogan would be Turkey’s first leader under the presidential system, doing away with the prime minister’s post, among other changes.