By Ali Kemal Akan
Turkey's prime minister on Saturday criticized the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate for not addressing the fight against terrorism.
Campaigning for the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the capital Ankara, Binali Yildirim said that CHP presidential candidate Muharrem Ince is failing to speak about the threat from terrorist groups such as the PKK, Daesh, and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Yildirim also slammed Ince for his claims that he got a phone call from the U.S. saying Turkey had failed to duly request the extradition of U.S.-based FETO leader Fetullah Gulen.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Countdown to polls
Marking the three weeks left until election day, Yildirim said that the June 24 elections will create a better and more effective Turkey.
“Turkey under its new system will have much faster decision-making, more effective use of time, using strong and stable government and a strong parliament that will implement the 2023 targets without wasting time," he said.
The elections are due to cement Turkey's transition to a presidential system of government, following last year's referendum where the public approved a host of constitutional changes.
Underlining the elections’ importance for the country, Yildirim said, "The AK Party's fate is Turkey's fate", adding that Turkey faces greater responsibilities due to regional issues.
He said that the AK Party, led by the nation’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is not only the future of Turkey but also the hope for oppressed people the around the world.
Turkey will vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.
Erdogan has served as president since 2014 -- Turkey's first popularly-elected president. Before that, he served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014.
Should he win the June 24 elections, Erdogan would be Turkey's first leader under the presidential system, which does away with the prime minister's post, among other changes.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.