Turkey's Erdogan vows new military border operations after Syria offensives

May 07, 2018, 07:33
Turkey's Erdogan vows new military border operations after Syria offensives

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged on Sunday that his party will strive to maintain national security and peace, and achieve its goals under the new executive presidency to be adopted following the election in June.

Speaking before thousands of supporters in Istanbul on Sunday, Erdogan described next month's snap presidential and parliamentary polls as a "milestone" for a strong Turkey.

Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002 and has since remained the country's biggest political force.

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Erdoğan has called elections for 24 June, more than a year earlier than planned - a move analysts say is partly aimed at capitalising on nationalist sentiment running high after a successful campaign to oust Syrian Kurdish militia from the border enclave of Afrin.

Erdogan said Turkey will launch additional offensives like Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations to clear its border of terror organisations. Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

Along with other opposing parties that are expected to form an alliance, they're anxious that Erdogan's move to transform Turkey's governing system to an executive presidency will lead to a concentration of power and leave the system open to abuse. As part of the reforms, the office of the prime minister will be abolished, with its powers largely transferred to the president.

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On the economy, the president promised to bring down interest rates, inflation and the current account deficit, while promoting rapid growth in the defence sector. "The Turkish economy will be more resistant to outer shocks and financial blows".

Ahead of the elections, Turkey will roll out a debt restructuring and social reforms package costing almost $6 billion, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Wednesday.

Muharrem Ince, the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) candidate to challenge Mr Erdogan, said a "media embargo" had been placed on opposition parties upon Mr Erdogan's request.

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