Turkey's ruling AK Party unveils election manifesto
Erdogan, who is also chairman of AK Party, vows to bring down interest rates, inflation, current account deficit
By Kubra Chohan, Sibel Ugurlu and Sorwar Alam
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday announced his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s manifesto ahead of the June 24 elections.
Speaking at the provincial congress of the AK Party in Istanbul, Erdogan, who is also the party’s chairman, vowed to bring down interest rates, inflation and current account deficit.
“With the presidential government system, national income will increase and -- since it will spread further in the base -- the gap between the income groups will close rapidly,” he said.
“Turkey is becoming an important power in the world. Turkey will be a global power, a leading force.”
The president vowed to support everyone who contributes to the country's economy.
"From employer to employee, from administrator to officer, from investor to tradesmen, all who contribute to the economy of the country would again find us beside them."
He added: “Our projects in the domestic automobile and defense industries will be swiftly implemented.”
He said Turkey would step up its 2023, 2053 and 2071 targets under the new presidential system.
In the framework of plans and targets, Turkey hopes to become one of the top 10 economies of the world by 2023.
Milestone for Turkey
Erdogan also said the June 24 elections will be "a milestone for Turkey”, highlighting that the AK Party would continue to side with democracy and freedom.
“Just as it was yesterday, today we side with democracy, freedom, and the free use of rights. We will side by them tomorrow, too. At the same time, we side with strength and freedom.”
He pointed out that combating corruption, poverty and bans would continue to be "among our most important goals".
He reiterated Ankara's determination to get full membership in the EU.
“Turkey has never given up on full membership in the EU, although we do not see the same determination or eagerness as our interlocutors [in EU].”
He also outlined Turkish foreign policy: “The basic principles of our foreign policy will continue to be independence, national interest, national security and conscientious stance.”
On fight against terrorism, Erdogan underlined that new cross-border operations would be launched.
"Turkey will launch new operations in the new period like Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch to clear its borders from terrorists.
“We will continue to produce our own weapons to become a global power. We will increase our defense industry values like our ALTAY tank, ATAK helicopter, drones, armed drones.
Policy on individual freedom
"Turkey's goal is to have 100 percent indigenously-made land, air, sea defense systems.”
Erdogan also spoke about his party's policy on individual freedom.
"Ensuring prosperity of our nation is as important as removing obstacles to freedom of thought and faith, securing individual freedoms."
The Turkish leader vowed to continue the fight against abuse, violence and harassment against women, terming all such acts as "major crimes against humanity".
"The People Alliance is the name of raising Turkey with virtue, will and courage," Erdogan said while referring to the election alliance between the AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), ahead of the June 24 early parliamentary and presidential elections.
Turkey's first popularly-elected President Erdogan has served at the top post since 2014. Before that, he served as prime minister, from 2003 to 2014.
Should he win the June 24 election, Erdogan would be Turkey's first leader under the presidential system, doing away with the prime minister's post, among other changes.
Last month, the parliament passed a bill calling for early elections on June 24, cementing Turkey’s move to a presidential system.
In an April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters approved the switch from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.