The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is set to begin a rejuvenation process through a series of meetings and an ordinary congress in the upcoming days – changes that are expected to alter the face of the party.
The leader of the AK Party, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is expected to gather the party's Central Executive Committee next week with the agenda focused on the congress process. Last week it was decided during the meeting of the Central Decision and Executive Board that the congress process was to be launched on Oct. 7 with the authorization given to the Central Executive Committee. The party also detailed the other key dates of the congress process. According to the congress schedule, until mid-November, the election of delegations will be completed. Then, in December, the congress for the party's town organizations will start. The town congresses will be followed by the district and province congresses, respectively.
The party is also scheduled to hold a congress for its women's and youth branches simultaneously. However, priority will be on the determination of the delegates, who will be chosen in accordance with merit as no one who does not correspond to the people's demands and choices will be elected. These conditions will also be valid for the town, district and provincial congresses.
The party has time up un
til May 2021 to have its seventh ordinary congress; however, the party will not wait until that time and is expected to hold a congress in September 2020. Within the congress, not only will the leader of the party be elected, but also members of the Central Decision and Executive Board, which is the highest decision-making actor within the party. From within the rejuvenated Central Decision and Executive Board, the Central Executive Committee members, who constitute the managerial staff of the party, will be elected.
Apart from the Central Executive Committee meeting, Erdoğan is also expected to come together with provincial heads of his party organization next week. It is expected the president will deliver crucial messages regarding the rejuvenation process of the party during the meeting that will take place at AK Party headquarters in Ankara.
The first week of October, however, is expected to witness the traditional consultation camp for the party. With the participation of the deputies, party members and mayors, the camp is expected to be the scene for the re-evaluation of the party's new process. The camp is expected to take place in Ankara's Kızılcahamam district, as it has previously.
Last week, the party celebrated its 18th anniversary with messages full of plans to rejuvenate and stay updated. Founded on Aug. 14, 2001 under the leadership of Erdoğan, the AK Party has become the most successful political party in modern Turkey's democratic history with its successive election victories and has led to reforms that improved the country's democracy and economic standards.
Transforming Turkish politics for the last 18 years, the AK Party has been preparing to lead new reforms that will enable Turkey to reach its 2023 targets. Only one year after its foundation, the AK Party saw great achievement in its first general elections, garnering 34.3% of the vote in the Nov. 3, 2002 elections and earning 363 seats in Parliament.
Since then, the AK Party has never lost an election. In the last 17 years under the AK Party administration, Turkey witnessed rapid development in many areas, including economy, democracy, individual liberties and rights, health and educational services in a stable political environment.