News / Middle East

    Erdogan Would Run for President if Asked by Party

    FILE - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters and lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey.
    FILE - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters and lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey.
    Reuters
    Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said he would run for the presidency in elections due next year if asked to do so by his party.
     
    Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for a decade, cannot run again for prime minister in a general election in 2015 according to the rules of his AK Party. He has long been expected to stand for a new executive presidency, although his plans to establish such an enhanced role have stalled.
     
    “I have not made such a decision for sure yet. If I had made such a decision for sure, I would announce it,” Erdogan said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster A Haber late on Thursday.
     
    “We have a system and this system is based on consultation. The most important piece of this consultation at this moment is my party. Whatever duty my party burdens me with, whatever it wishes of me, I will endeavor to do it.”
     
    With less than a year until Turkey's first popular presidential election, speculation has been mounting over what role Erdogan and Abdullah Gul, who currently occupies the largely ceremonial post, will play.
     
    The two were founding members of the AK Party in 2001 and are longtime allies, but their relations have appeared at times strained over the last year, not least over a police crackdown on anti-government demonstrations this summer.
     
    What happens at the ballot box next year will also depend on whether Erdogan is able to push through a new constitution including provisions for an executive presidency, a move seen as less and less likely as the election cycle nears.
     
    Efforts to draft a new charter have all but stalled due to disagreements among the main four political parties, especially over the question of a more powerful presidency.

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    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    October 04, 2013 12:58 PM
    Erdogan? That's a Russia style. Well I'm beginning to like Vladimir Putin for his political mechanization and dexterity. I also want to like him for standing his ground on certain pressurized issues, though with shy-looking face. But Erdogan? This man is not one to trust with executive powers. He is also not a refined diplomat; he commits diplomatic blunders here and there - he is raw. Now he dislikes what is happening in Egypt and Syria, then he was himself repressive of minorities, moderates and non-members of his islamist party. Turks are all but waiting for something to trigger a Syria-like protest and Erdogan will understand how unpopular he is with certain locals - we saw a little fringe of that earlier this year. He should not be allowed to assume such a revered position until he has been schooled on virtues and ethics of diplomacy, even if he wishes to achieve cheap popularity with the Arabs and Palestinians.

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