Ruling AK Party out of the gate for June 7 election race
by Sena Alkan
ISTANBULApr 26, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Sena Alkan
Apr 26, 2015 12:00 am
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu over the weekend launched the start of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) election campaign with rallies held in the eastern provinces of Erzurum and Sivas as the party's strategy for rallies has become clear. According to the party's strategy, the messages to be given at rallies will not be repeated and will be classified in light of the necessities of each province. The messages at rallies will be short and clear as the rallies will be no longer than 45 minutes.
The rally schedule shows that Davutoğlu will address people in different regions of the country each day. Rallies will be held in 72 provinces and some critical districts in Istanbul and the capital Ankara. The prime minister is also scheduled to address expat Turks who number around 2.8 million around the world. Out of the expat Turks residing abroad, 1.5 million are German living in Germany. This is why addressing German Turks in Germany is of critical importance in Davutoğlu's rally schedule.
He held three rallies yesterday in the eastern cities of Gümüşhane, Bayburt and Erzincan in which he targeted the Gülen Movement, which is alleged to have infiltrated key state institutions in a purported attempt to topple the government. He referred to the attempt of an unauthorized judge to release Gülen Movement-affiliated Samanyolu Broadcasting Group General Manager Hidayet Karaca and 75 other detainees, which turned out to be unlawful, claiming it to be a coup attempt in the judiciary ordered by U.S.-based former imam Fethullah Gülen, who is the head of Gülen Movement.
The first election rally as part of the AK Party's efforts to receive enough votes to switch to a presidential system and establish a new constitution without opposition was held on April 25 in the symbolically significant provinces of Erzurum and Sivas.
Saying that the AK Party has worked on a special election manifesto for each province, Davutoğlu touched on the significance of a new constitution and its benefits to the country.
Criticizing opposition parties' policies and promises for the upcoming elections, Davutoğlu asserted that the AK Party will teach main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu how to do calculations due to the CHP's economic pledges, Nationalist Movement Party Chairman Devlet Bahçeli how to be a nationalist and People's Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş how to establish peace across the country in reference to the reconciliation process between Ankara and the Kurds.
Addressing people in Sivas, Davutoğlu said that even though some political party leaders, referring to the CHP, make pointless pledges to the nation and some tried to use nationalism as a way to get more votes, the AK Party will pledge to develop the province's education with a second public university and to develop transportation with high speed train.
The significance of Erzurum lies in the fact that the Erzurum Congress, an assembly of Turkish revolutionaries, played a fundamental role in shaping the national identity of modern Turkey. Along with the Erzurum Congress of 1919, the Sivas Congress was an assembly of the Turkish National Movement, where vital decisions were made that fundamentally shaped the future policy in the frame of the Turkish War of Independence.
The prime minister is scheduled today to hold a rally in to the southeastern province of Hakkari at the opening ceremony of a newly established airport.
While AK Party's election marathon has expedited, the main opposition CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu held a rally in the northwestern province of Edirne yesterday as he continued his election promises such as a significant increase in the minimum wage, reducing diesel prices to TL 1.5 ($0.60) as well as a poverty wage program for poor families, a family insurance project that aims to pay a certain amount of monthly pay to families who don't have enough income.
Kılıçdaroğlu said during the rally: " If CHP comes to power in the upcoming elections, I'll cut government taxes on diesel fuel to zero for farmers. We [CHP] will bring family insurance to each household, every family will have over 720 TL income per month."
The MHP leader Bahçeli was in Germany to attend an organization held by a Turkish Confederation.