Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli on Tuesday called for early elections in Turkey on Aug. 26.
Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group in capital Ankara, Bahçeli said: “It should be known that the MHP wants early elections after the adjustment laws are enacted.
“Electing the president on Aug. 26…is the most rational and reasonable way forward.”
Erdoğan: Constitutional change to be implemented with Nov. 2019 elections
Expected changes to the Turkish constitution will be fully implemented with the presidential elections scheduled for November 2019, President Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday, in an apparent response to a suggestion for early polls.Erdoğan’s comments came after the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) party suggested holding presidential elections in August this year.Turks backed a constitutional change last year to change the constitution and grant Erdoğan sweeping powers. The changes are due to become effective in the next elections.Erdoğan says to meet with MHP leader, after call for early electionErdoğan to meet with MHP leaderErdoğan also said that he would meet with the head of the MHP, after Devlet Bahçeli floated the prospect of an early election.The ruling AK Party and the MHP will enter the next elections under an electoral alliance.Erdoğan said he would meet with Bahceli on Wednesday.Turkey’s MHP party suggests early presidential election in August 2018Operation Olive BranchErdoğan also revealed that a total of 4,205 terrorists were neutralized in Syria’s Afrin region, while 214 and 341 were neutralized in Turkey and northern Iraq respectively.”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.”Syria can be rebuilt with cost of bombs of those who want to destroy it”“Syria can be rebuilt with the cost of the bombs of those who want to destroy it. These render the term aid void for their own interests, which include oil and metals. We won’t do this. We will continue to help the oppressed through our foundations that are able to conduct its operations on a global level,” he saidA sharp rebuke of Macron “Someone came out and said that they managed to drive a wedge between Turkey and Russia. The foundation of our foreign policy is built on increasing the number of allies. Let’s see how their friendship fares so that we can walk with them. Ever since we managed to take matters into our hands, we realized that we have no need for anyone. We will be in a much better place tomorrow.”Erdoğan’s comments came after Macron confessed in an interview that joint strikes conducted by France, Britain and the United States targeted Ankara’s relations with Moscow.“With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks on this. The Turks condemned the chemical weapons,” Macron said in an interview broadcasted by BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news.FETÖ ringleader to be brought to Turkey ‘sooner or later’Erdogan said on Tuesday that Fetullah Terrorist Organization’s (FETÖ) U.S.-based ringleader Fetullah Gulen will be brought to Turkey “sooner or later.””The situation of the head of these terrorists, who feels safe in Pennsylvania, will not be different. Sooner or later we will get to him,” said Erdogan.Erdogan said FETÖ terrorists “who betrayed this country, will get a befitting response.”FETÖ orchestrated the defeated July 2016 coup in Turkey which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
On April 16, 2017, Turkey held a referendum during which the majority of voters decided in favor of an 18-article bill to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system.
The parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled to take place in November 2019.
Later, speaking to journalists before his parliamentary group meeting, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would meet Bahçeli on Wednesday.
Also, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ told reporters that the MHP’s call for early elections would be evaluated.
Deputy PM: Authorities will evaluate early presidential election possibility
The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party will discuss the possibility of holding Turkey’s presidential election in August, more than a year earlier than planned, the government spokesman said on Wednesday, following a suggestion from the MHP. A referendum to change the constitution and create an executive presidency was passed last year. However, those extended powers are not due to take effect until after presidential polls, now slated for November 2019.”The party’s official institutions will make an evaluation and a statement will be made afterwards,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, the government’s spokesman, told reporters.Turkey’s MHP party suggests early presidential election in August 2018The leader of MHP nationalist party, currently in opposition but expected to form an alliance with Erdoğan’s AK Party in parliamentary polls, also slated for November 2019, had said it would be difficult for the country to “endure current circumstances” until then. He pointed to risks to Turkey including the economy and possible increases in migration into the country.Erdoğan said he would meet MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli on Wednesday. Erdoğan also said that the constitutional change would be fully implemented with the November 2019 elections – possibly hinting that early polls were not on the cards.Erdoğan: Constitutional change to be implemented with Nov. 2019 electionsErdoğan says to meet with MHP leader, after call for early election
Bahçeli also called for punishing Bashar al-Assad after the suspected chemical attack in Douma in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta.
Assad must face action
The opposition party leader said: “Assad should be punished. There is nothing to say for it.”
He said Assad must face consequences for his regime’s murders.
Bahçeli’s remarks came after the U.S., U.K., and France early Saturday launched airstrikes on alleged Assad regime chemical weapons facilities in Syria.
He also criticized the U.S.-led coalition for being late in “hearing the humanitarian crimes in Syria”.
G7 condemns Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement Monday on behalf of G7 leaders condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Bashar al-Assad regime.“We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the European Union, are united in condemning, in the strongest possible terms, the use of chemical weapons in the April 7 attack in Eastern Ghouta, Syria,” the statement read.Trudeau is the 2018 chairman of the G7 – a grouping of seven of the world’s advanced economies.He said he and the other G7 leaders stand firm in their support of the American-led retaliatory attack on Syria as punishment.“We fully support all efforts made by the United States, the United Kingdom and France to degrade the Assad regime’s ability to use chemical weapons to deter any future use, demonstrated by their action taken on April 13,” the statement said.“This response was limited, proportionate and necessary – and taken only after exhausting every possible diplomatic option to uphold the international norm against the use of chemical weapons.”The use of chemical weapons was banned by the international community after World War I and it was strengthened again in 1972 and 1993 by prohibiting the development, stockpiling and transfer of such weapons.“Use of chemical weapons is a breach of the Chemical Weapons Convention and constitutes a threat to international peace and security,” the statement said. Despite contravention of the ban, the statement said the G7 leaders still supported the call for the use of diplomacy as the tool to end the Syrian conflict.“We remain committed to a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria.”
“Using chemical weapons is surely a crime against humanity. While the more major incidents had been experienced in Syria, where were the heads of the U.S., U.K. and France? What was the UN doing?” he asked.
“They have other aims under the guise of punishment for the [Syrian] regime,” said Bahçeli.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to UN figures.