Turkey’s ruling AKP always prepared for elections, Erdoğan says

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is working on the understanding that there could be an election at any time, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday.

“We are a movement that is always prepared for elections, as if an election will be held at any moment,” said Erdoğan at a Justice and Development Party (AKP) congress.

Turkey is scheduled to have three elections next year. Voters will go to the polls to choose local officials, parliamentary representatives and to elect a new president, who will, for the first time, hold executive power.

There has been speculation that the election dates will be brought forwards in order to capitalise on the nationalism fostered by Turkey’s military interventions in Syria and before growing signs of strain in the economy begin to bite.

Although Erdoğan’s comments seem to imply that this is possible, he also suggested rumours of early elections were mere speculation. “Some are toying with the fact that we have started preparing for 2019. They are creating scenarios about our dynamism on their own,” he said. “We should not be lazy just because we received 52 percent of the votes (in the 2017 constitutional referendum). We should not be lazy by looking at our opposition’s clumsiness.”