Turkish municipality block presidential candidate’s convoy

Gaziantep municipality, which is controlled by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has placed dumper trucks in the roads to cut off a convoy belonging to presidential candidate Meral Akşener, according to nationalist Yeniçağ newspaper journalist Murat İde.

Akşener, who is standing in snap presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 together with her opposition nationalist Good Party, drew a large crowd at her rally in July 15 Democracy Square in the conservative southern city, Yeniçağ said.

She was due to go straight away to another rally in the nearby town of Osmaniye, the home turf of the leader of her former party, Devlet Bahçeli, who has chosen to go into these elections in coalition with the AKP government.

Akşener pledged to help restore peace and prosperity to Syria if elected, and implied that this would lessen the burden of Syrian refugees that Gaziantep has disproportionately taken on.

She also blamed the government for unemployment rates in the city, promising to build factories there if elected.

“Mr. (President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan has made a choice,” she said.

“He has taken on debt and built buildings. And he has introduced a Turkey which has grown through construction. Today, we are a country in $450 billion of debt.”