No one asks Erdogan about the court ruling against Istanbul Mayor
None of the media representatives asked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to comment on a court ruling against the mayor of Istanbul on their way back from the President's visit to Turkmenistan.
On the president's plane, while Erdogan was asked to comment on several issues by the representatives of pro-government media, none of them asked about the recent court decision against Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, which may subsequently cast him out of politics for a period of time. Imamoglu is among possible opposition candidates to run for president in the 2023 election and polls have shown that he has a solid chance of winning against Erdogan.
Asked about EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell's statement that "Turkey should join in the Western sanctions against Russia," Erdogan said:
"Borrell is not my counterpart. He can be Mevlut Cavusoglu's peer. His statement is not nice. First of all, Borrell does not have the authority to design our relations with Russia. He has neither the quality or the capacity to make such decisions. This is an awful statement."
"How dare do you comment on our relations with Russia in the context of sanctions? Where does Europe get 44% of its grain right now? It comes from the Black Sea. Who is the mediator? Turkey. Did he offer his gratitude for this? No. All European leader thank for that and you come up with such a statement."
Asked about his recent remark that he will be asking for support in the 2023 elections for the last time, Erdogan said:
"Currently, we can run for president only twice. We do not have a third chance. That certainly does not mean that AKP [the ruling Justice and Development Party] will not compete in the presidential election henceforth, or that Tayyip Erdogan will quit politics. And well, first of all, we are the candidate of the People's Alliance in the coming election. We will continue as president if our people choose us."
Asked what kind of goals he will seek in politics if he cannot run for president in the future, Erdogan said.
"I'm a member of AKP. I'm the one who founded this party. How can I possibly leave my friends alone?"
Erdogan then went on reciting the lyrics of a song he frequently sings in mass gatherings:
"Together we've trodden these roads, together we've been drenched under the rain. All the songs I now listen to tell me about AKP."
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 68, already ran for president twice and was elected in 2014 and 2018. Law experts and the opposition say it is not legal that he is running for a third time, but he says his first election to the post in 2014 was before the constitutional amendment in 2017, and therefore his second term after the 2018 elections should be considered as the first term under the amended constitution and in the new presidential system that was introduced with the amendment.