President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reportedly ordered officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to go out on the streets to listen to people’s complaints.
Erdoğan’s order to lawmakers, mayors and other AKP officials came amid Turkey’s efforts of normalization amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, daily Hürriyet reported on May 27.
According to the report, Erdoğan said that the party members should listen to the people’s demands regarding the pandemic process.
Shopkeepers will reportedly be among those visited by AKP officials for their demands to be met.
“You have to be the most careful ones on wearing masks and abiding by social distancing. You’ll describe the normalization process to them and listen to their demands,” Erdoğan reportedly told the party members.
The AKP officials are also assigned to describe the government’s projects that it carried out during the pandemic to understand how they were met by the people.
The officials will also distribute masks, the report said.
Following the talks with people, officials will prepare reports on a provincial basis and present them to Erdoğan.
On the issue of the AKP’s provincial congresses that were delayed due to the pandemic, Erdoğan said that the recommendations of the Health Ministry’s Science Commission, which was founded as part of the struggle against COVID-19, must be followed.
According to Hürriyet, hours-long online meetings chaired by Erdoğan were held during Eid al-Fitr, during which the president received information on the AKP’s efforts and the number of cases in provinces.
The officials sought the removal of the travel ban on Istanbul to be lifted the latest to prevent overpopulation in the city.
Separately, the government has also started discussing possible steps to prevent new parties from forming parliamentary groups, while also evaluating the suggestions of its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli on May 24 has called for “urgent” reforms in the law on political parties for the continuation of the presidential system.
Bahçeli’s remarks came after main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that a number of CHP lawmakers can quit and join the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) and Future Party, both founded by former AKP officials, to secure their run in elections.
The AKP has started gathering suggestions from its lawmakers and discussing steps that would complicate switching parties.