PM Erdoğan Vows to Nand Over AKP Leadership

IMG_9693Photo: Hülya Karahan

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed to hand over the leadership of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) after consultations, as he prepares to take over the presidency from Abdullah Gül on Aug. 28.

“I have said our party will never become a leadership dictatorship. I have stood behind the collective leadership approach for the past 13 years. We are conducting this process that will reshape our party by consulting all levels,” Erdoğan said on Aug. 14 during a speech to the AKP’s provincial heads in Ankara.

“God willing, we will bow to joint wisdom. The devil waits for such moments. We will foil his trap with unity,” he added.

Erdoğan’s statement came as the AKP decided to hold an extraordinary convention to elect its new chairman on Aug. 27, after Gül signaled his wish to return to the party. The timing of the convention has been controversial, as it makes it impossible for the outgoing president to join the party as the leader.
Many party members, as well as pundits close to Erdoğan, have emphasized the president-elect’s weight over the party, while dismissing claims of a rift between the two politicians.