Erdogan: We may bring the vote forward
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said they may bring the date of elections forward.
Erdogan cited the reason for the date change as “seasonal conditions” in an address to the provincial heads of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Thursday.
“We may update the date of the 2023 elections by bringing them a little bit forward due to seasonal conditions,” he said, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Turkey is facing presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for June 18 at the latest, amid Turkey’s economic woes that trouble Erdogan’s public support. Critics argue that AKP is eyeing an early election to be held in April or May.
Commenting on a possible early election, AKP’s vice chair Hamza Dag on Sunday said there’s two possible ways for an early election.
“One of them is the parliament’s taking a decision with the vote of 360 deputies in the 550-seat assembly, and the other is the president’s dissolving the parliament,” Dag said.
The ruling alliance (AKP-MHP) maintains 334 seats in Turkish parliament.
According to journalist Murat Yetkin, AKP’s main reason for eyeing an early election is that the previously scheduled election date overlaps with the Hadj season, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
While the pilgrimage begins on June 26, the journey of those who will go on the pilgrimage will begin in mid-June, Yetkin said in an article on Monday.
“We can assume that AKP voters will be the majority of those who will travel to Mecca,” he said.