Erdogan: This nation will do what it takes on May 14
President Tayyip Erdogan indicated on Wednesday that elections will be held on May 14, sticking to his previous plan for the vote with a date just over three months after a devastating earthquake killed more than 45,000 people in Turkey.
"This nation will do what is necessary on May 14, God willing," Erdogan said in a speech to lawmakers from his ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) in parliament.
There had been conflicting signals over the likely timing of the presidential and parliamentary elections since last month's earthquake, with some suggesting they could be postponed until later in the year or could be held as scheduled on June 18.
Doubts have been raised about the ability of the electoral authorities to prepare and logistically organize the voting of those affected in the earthquake zone, where some 14 million people live.
Erdogan continued to berate opposition leaders in his speech.
"We know that they are rubbing their hands in glee to see the state being trapped together with our people. How many times have all these circus acrobats and prophets of doom been in the region?” he asked.
Erdogan also said he would not forget those who criticized state aid organizations
"I would like to emphasize that we have never forgotten the insults against civilian aid organizations and we have recorded them in order to hold them accountable in the future," he said.
Before the disaster, Erdogan's popularity had been eroded by the soaring cost of living and a slump in the lira. He has since faced a wave of criticism over his government's response to the deadliest quake in the nation's modern history.