Turkey: Erdogan Announces Early Election Date

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Turkey to hold snap elections on 24 June, says Erdoğan

With the upcoming election, Turkey will switch from a parliamentary system to a presidential one that will increase the powers of the president.

Erdogan said he made the decision after speaking to the head of the nationalist MHP party, Devlet Bahceli, who a day earleir had floated the prospect of early polls.

In 15 years of rule as prime minister and then president, Erdogan has transformed a poor, sprawling country at the eastern edge of Europe into a major emerging market. Following unsuccessful attempts to form a coalition government, a snap election was called for November with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) recording its biggest ever win in terms of popular vote.

The eagerly-awaited meeting with Erdogan at his presidential palace lasted only half an hour, the presidency said.

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"It can not be that there is some cynical outcome between the Commision, the member State Governments and Erdogan's government that would only be a pragmatic approach to Foreign Policy objectives, trade and some kind of people to people contact without putting human rights and rule of law front, center and future of that relation", she warned. The law grants the High Electoral Board the authority to merge electoral districts and move ballot boxes to other districts.

While growth in Turkey was 7.4 percent in 2017, double-digit inflation, a wide current account deficit and the need for debt restructuring at top companies could be harbingers of trouble ahead.

The idea of an early poll was initially proposed by nationalist allies.

But our military operation in Syria and the historically significant regional developments in Syria and Iraq made it compulsory for Turkey to overcome the uncertainties.

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Turkey's lira firmed against the dollar after Erdogan's announcement and was at 4.0140 at 1815 GMT.

Presidential powers have been substantially strengthened through constitutional amendments following a referendum in April of previous year.

"We discussed [Bahceli's] proposal, we agreed on the need for early elections".

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