Erdoğan said the new prime minister should ensure unity within the party and tackle the threat posed by Gülenists
President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, at the farewell reception hosted by outgoing President Gül, said the new AK Party leader, who should also be the new prime minister, should continue the fight against Gülenists who infiltrated state institutions and tried to topple the government, foster party unity, protect the principles the party stands for and take steps to carry the AK Party into the future.
While Abdullah Gül, the 11th Turkish president, is getting ready to hand over his post to Prime Minister and President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 28, Erdoğan drew a roadmap, including a five point criteria for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) chairman and prime minister to be elected on Aug. 27. The criteria include important steps to combat the Gülen Movement which is believed to have carried out a defamation campaign with the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 operations against the government ahead of the March 30 local elections, continue the reconciliation process to end the terrorist activities of the PKK, which took up arms against the Turkish state in order to create a separate state in southeastern Turkey, and build a new constitution.
The criteria determined by the AK Party Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) aims to ensure the continuation of the AK Party's core principles that the party has exerted since its establishment. As the first criterion, Erdoğan stated that the upcoming prime minister should never take a step backward in combatting the Gülen Movement and will never make concessions to the process. The second criterion determined by Erdoğan is to elect a prime minister that will pursue common sense and consultation, especially in times of crisis. The next criterion is to protect the AK Party's core principles, values and codes that have kept the party in power for the last 12 years. As the forth criterion, Erdoğan suggested that the prime minister should carry the AK Party movement into the future. The last criterion Erdoğan stressed is that a prime minister should undertake both the AK Party chairmanship and the prime ministry at the same time and never be regarded as interim.
As a new constitution is on top of the AK Party's agenda, Erdoğan stated that the prime minister to be elected should represent the AK Party ideally both in domestic and in foreign politics and be successful in the 2015 national election to enable 330 AK Party deputies to be elected to Parliament to ensure a new constitution.
Several Turkish media outlets alleged that AK Party MKYK members suggested names for the prime ministry post during their meeting. It is reported that Erdoğan gives priority to renovation and institutionalization for the party, but the ultimate decision will be made after consultation meetings with provincial chairmen, mayors and deputies to avoid any possible dilemma within the party.
While the AK Party starts consultations to elect a prime minister, a farewell reception was held on Tuesday by President Abdullah Gül. Erdoğan remarked in the farewell reception that outgoing President Gül's return to the AK Party is natural. Erdoğan said, "There is no obstacle for Mr.
Abdullah's return to the AK Party after the [presidential] handover ceremony."
Erdoğan said that the AK Party will hold a special general assembly on Aug. 27, and no administration change is on the agenda until the next regular general assembly. He said, "[The general assembly] will be held with one agenda, which is the election of the chairman. That is the agenda."
He dismissed allegations that even though Gül will return to the AK Party, he will not be the AK Party chairman. Erdoğan said that a possible gap in politics will be covered and all steps will be taken in this regard.
Erdoğan also warned those who tried to cause a stir within AK Party and stated that the real chaos is within the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Noting that they have always ensured unity within the party, Erdoğan said that AK Party officials would
continue to be unified for the future.
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