The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is looking to double its current number of 11 million members ahead of the general and presidential elections in 2019, party sources have said.
In line with a new strategy, the AK Party is also planning to engage with all segments of the public and civil society in order to better communicate its policies with citizens. The AK Party women's and youth wings and its administrative branches, in particular, will be focusing on signing up new members. Paying visits to potential members and setting up booths at party congresses will be part of the activities carried out to boost the numbers.
Earlier at the AK Party's 16th-anniversary celebrations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pushed forward the idea of increasing the number of party members. He pointed to the 2019 local and presidential elections and set forth the goal of doubling that number in front of the AK Party administration.
Making an appeal to party members, Erdoğan said, "Are you ready to double the number of party members ahead of March 2019 and November 2019?" Underlining that the AK Party must secure 50 percent plus one vote for a victory, Erdoğan also called on fellow members to go from door to door to win new voters.
Erdoğan previously stated that there was a "metal fatigue" within the AK Party and took up the task to rejuvenate the party. He also put forward a comprehensive plan to win the upcoming presidential elections. Turkey switched from a prime minister-based system to a presidential democracy through a referendum on April 16 this year. According to the changes, 50 percent plus one vote is required to be elected as the president.