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Erdoğan announces election manifesto, promises to fix economy

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Turkish President and Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday announced his election manifesto in advance of snap polls on June 24.

“We will again on June 24 hit those who want to divide us; it will be the ‘Ottoman slap’,” Erdoğan told a crowd in the Sinan Erdem Sports Center in İstanbul. “They will not divide us. They will not divide our territory. We have crossed over the border, right? Why? Because they didn’t stop. Those who really love the ‘parallel state’ can go to Pennsylvania. We can buy their tickets and send them there.”

The speech included comments on the country’s current economic problems. “With the presidential system of governance, national income will increase and — since it will spread further among the base — the income gap will rapidly close,” Erdoğan promised. He also vowed to bring down interest rates, inflation and the current account deficit.

“Turkey is becoming an important power in the world. Turkey will be a global power, a leading force,” he added. He also accused the 2013 Gezi Park protests of challenging the stability of Turkey.

Erdoğan also recalled his so-called “one minute” in Davos in 2009. “We protested the injustices of the global order by saying, ‘The world is bigger than five.’ In Davos, against the invaders, we said, ‘One minute.’ It was an important step. We opened our doors to millions of refugees coming from Syria and Iraq without any hesitation,” said the president.

A significant part of the speech was dedicated to a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. After describing the incident, Erdoğan praised the crowd, saying, “We are the ones who, on July 15, stopped military tanks with our bare hands.”

He also vowed to proceed with military operations on Sinjar and Kandil, where Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) camps are located in northern Iraq.

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