Turkey’s Erdoğan tight-lipped on early elections

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he had nothing to say in reaction to a call for early elections from his ally, the far-right party leader Devlet Bahçeli.

“I have nothing to say at this time,” pro-government NTV news quoted Erdoğan as saying.

Erdoğan said he would meet Bahçeli on Wednesday to discuss early elections, NTV said.

Turkey is due to hold local elections in March next year and parliamentary and presidential polls before November 2019.

Bahçeli, the leader the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), on Tuesday called for elections to be brought forward by more than a year and be held in August.

“It is not possible for Turkey to wait until Nov. 3, 2019 for elections,” Bahçeli told his parliamentary party. Turkish should go to the polls on Aug. 26, 2018, he said.

The date is the anniversary of the 1071 Battle of Manzikert fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Turks and marks the entrance of Turkish peoples into Anatolia.

Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) formed an alliance with the MHP this year after opinion polls showed support for the ruling party at around 40 percent.



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