Turkish president says people’s allegiance to him to contribute formation of parliament
Turkey’s president said Friday that presidential and parliamentary elections slated for June 24 will end in the first round.
“There is no problem in public opinion surveys. Here, it is clearly seen that it [the election] will end in the first round,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a live interview on Star TV.
Erdogan said the people of Turkey have a committed allegiance to him “and there is a significant advantage that cannot even be compared to other parties for forming the parliament in that regard”.
“If there is a strong parliament behind the president, then the president will have a much faster decision-making process in the current government system.”
The number of lawmakers in parliament from his Justice and Development (AK) Party must be more than 300, Erdogan added.
Erdogan has served as president since 2014 — Turkey’s first popularly elected president. 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, which does away with the prime minister’s post, among other changes.
US bill on F-35 program
Regarding the F-35 fighter jet deal with the U.S., Erdogan said Turkey is making its payments and is committed to the deal.
Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee passed a bill which includes a measure to bar Turkey from purchasing F-35 jets.
“We say that the U.S. is our strategic partner. As our strategic partner, the U.S. should not say we should knock on another door,” Erdogan said.
“We are not interested with the Senate. There is only one thing that interests us. Have I discussed this with the president of the U.S.? I have. Have we talked about this in our inter-delegation meeting? We have.”
“If we are strategic partners, if we are model partners, the U.S. should not legally wrong us here,” Erdogan added.
In 2014, Turkey placed an order for the first two F-35 jets for a projected fleet of 100 F-35A aircraft and plans to deploy the aircraft by 2019.
The F-35s will replace the aging fleet of F-4 and F-16 aircraft. The first delivery of the F-35s to Turkey is slated for June 21.