Turkish Party Keeps Term Limit, Hinting at Erdogan Presidency!

IMG_8774 Story and photos by Hulya Karahan

Turkey’s ruling AK Party decided on Friday to maintain a three-term limit for its deputies, the clearest signal yet that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan will run in the nation’s first direct election for president in August.

There has been speculation the AKP would change its rules to enable Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade, to stay on as prime minister for a fourth term and finish off a power struggle with an influential Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen he accuses of seeking to topple him.

August’s election will be the first popular vote for the presidency. Until now, the president has been chosen by parliament and played a largely ceremonial role. Erdogan has said that will give it more authority, and has vowed to exercise its full powers if elected.

The three-term limit also means high-profile figures such as Ali Babacan, the deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag cannot be re-appointed.

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