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Opposition urges Erdoğan to hold snap election amid worsening economy

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Leaders of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and its ally, the nationalist İYİ (Good) Party, have called on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to hold a snap election, accusing his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of poor management of the economy, local media reported on Wednesday.

The call was made during a joint press conference held by the allies on Wednesday after CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu paid a visit to İYİ leader Meral Akşener at party headquarters in Ankara.

“Turkey needs to hold elections as soon as possible. We make this call with a view that solving the problems [of this country] is a duty: Let’s have elections right away,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Stating that she agrees with the CHP leader’s call, Akşener added: “The elections should be held fair and square. We have come to the end of the road. Elections must be held.”

The leaders also slammed the ruling AKP due to its management of the country’s economy, days after Erdoğan claimed that “we wrote the book on economy and continue to do so” during an event organized by a pro-government trade union, while the record depreciation of the Turkish lira has been eating into the incomes of Turks along with double-digit inflation.

Various reports also show that poverty in Turkey has both expanded and deepened during the pandemic, which hit at a time when the country was already in dire financial straits amid economic turmoil ongoing since 2018.

“The Turkish lira is losing an extraordinary amount of value. But there’s no [government] body in Turkey to come up with a solution. The central bank, which normally should be dealing with price stability, allows the foreign exchange rates to increase. … It’s not possible to be a mere spectator to such a course of events. … A huge institution [central bank] has been discredited not only in Turkey but also in the world. … Everybody knows they [the AKP] can no longer rule the country,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“As people who are aware that states with poor economies cannot be independent, we’ve talked about whether we can show our citizens a way out. … It’s obvious where the system of government, which is based on an individual who takes pride in ‘writing the book on economy’ and considers the state his own, has brought Turkey,” Akşener said.

The first reaction to the allies’ call came from the AKP’s parliamentary group deputy chairman Bülent Turan, who on Wednesday indicated in a tweet that Turkey had no plans to hold snap elections.

“The elections will be held [in 2023] as planned. Turkey has the will and determination to overcome all obstacles despite you. Your agenda is of no use to anyone,” Turan added.

In the last general election, held in June 2018, the AKP garnered a nationwide vote of 42.6 percent. However, public surveys have increasingly been showing the party’s public support to be slipping.

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