President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once again ruled out early elections, saying that they will be held as scheduled in 2023.
“There will be no early elections...[It will be held on] June 2023...It is the job of primitive clans to hold elections every 15-20 months....Every election is crucial. This critical period has made the 2023 elections much more important,” Erdoğan said on Nov. 23, as he addressed his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s provincial heads in the capital Ankara.
“We have come out as first at every election that we entered since our foundation. And we have not gone below the 50 percent [support level] with regards to the alliances. Why is the opposition wearing itself out so much right now? Because they know the place that they will come to in the future,” Erdoğan said.
He argued that his People's Alliance -- consisting of the AKP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) -- will once again hold the majority in parliament in the next elections and will also win the presidential race.
Targeting the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), he said: “We cannot leave our country to CHP's lies. We cannot leave Turkey to Kılıçdaroğlu's inadequateness and the HDP.”
Erdoğan's comments came as the lira nosedived 15 percent on Nov. 23, tumbling as far as 13.45 to the dollar. Opposition parties have been urging the government to call early elections, saying it can no longer govern the country and there is a need for a change of the rulership.
Erdoğan's AKP is sliding in opinion polls ahead of elections scheduled for no later than mid-2023, reflecting sharply higher costs of living.
Former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, a founding member of the AKP before breaking away to form his own party, described Erdoğan's economic measures as "treason and not ignorance."
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and some other opposition leaders have announced emergency meetings to discuss the currency after the Nov. 23 crash - the lira's second-biggest fall ever after the 2018 currency crisis that led to a sharp recession and brought on three years of sub-par economic growth and double-digit inflation.
Turks took to social media to express dismay. Top trending topics on Twitter were dominated by hashtags on the economy including "We are sinking", "Government resign" and "We cannot make ends meet."