As the rejuvenation process continues in the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), 50 district congresses are being held each week and the congress period should be completed by the end of October.
As part of the rejuvenation process signaled by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier this year, the AK Party has ramped up efforts, holding 50 district congresses every week. The AK Party is expected to conclude district congresses by the end of October. Having finished its town congresses, AK Party organizations are now holding district congresses, which will be followed by provincial congresses. President Erdoğan is also expected to attend one of the district congresses.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman in charge of organizations Mustafa Ataş stated that organizations in the AK Party should take the load off the shoulders of President Erdoğan in the forthcoming election period, saying, "Whoever is not capable of taking the load off President Erdoğan is suffering from mental fatigue." Ataş added that the AK Party is exerting efforts to form party organizations that work in accordance with President Erdoğan.
Stating that the AK Party is the backbone of Turkey, Ataş said that party organizations at the provincial, district and local levels are also the backbone of the AK Party and should be reshuffled accordingly to provide maximum effectiveness in assisting President Erdoğan.
The ruling party has entered a new era following President Erdoğan's return to the party in late May. After constitutional changes were approved in the April 16 referendum that allowed President Erdoğan to re-establish his ties with the AK Party, the party held an emergency convention on May 21. Since then, the Cabinet has been reshuffled, and Erdoğan has repeatedly spoken of "mental fatigue" within the party. "Our fellow friends in successful branches will, of course, continue to perform their duties, but I guess you can also agree that a comprehensive change is needed in our local administrations," Erdoğan said earlier in July.
"We will update all of our provincial, district and town organizations by the end of this year and revise them. We will do this because there is mental fatigue experienced in these organizations, and we need to overcome this. Therefore, we need to be prepared for 2019, hopefully with a much more dynamic team," he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman Ataş said that between 300 and 350 district heads would be replaced in the upcoming period. "There has been a demand to make changes in more than 300 districts, affecting up to 350 positions. We have already replaced 200 of our district heads recently. What does this mean? It means that 50 percent of 970 districts have undergone changes," Ataş said.