President Erdoğan announces AKP's election manifesto

Turkish President Erdoğan has declared the ruling AKP’s election manifesto in the capital Ankara. Erdoğan said they will abolish interviewing civil servant candidates even though his government was the one who started the practice in the first place.

Photo: AA

Duvar English

Turkish President and leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 11 declared his party’s election manifesto in a meeting held in the capital Ankara. In the same meeting, Erdoğan also introduced the AKP’s deputy candidates for the May 14 general election.  

“I am proud to be with you, my friends and colleagues, who take their inspiration from the democracy and development breakthroughs that the AKP has made for 21 years. Once again, on the eve of May 14 (the election date), with the faith and will of 1950, we will say 'Enough! It is the nation’s turn to speak',” Erdoğan said, referring to the Democrat Party government of the 1950s.

On May 14, 1950, Adnan Menderes and his Democrat Party beat İsmet İnönü’s Republican People Party (CHP) which had been in power for 27 years, mostly under a single party regime. DP was able to get 53.5 percent of the votes, whereas CHP remained at 39.9 percent. As an opposition party at the time, the DP used the slogan of “Enough! It is the nation’s turn to speak” in the election against the CHP’s 27-year-long rule.

Menderes, a name frequently commemorated by Erdoğan and the AKP, was executed by hanging following a coup in 1960 after serving as prime minister for 10 years.

Erdoğan said they will pave the steps for the “Century of Turkey” with the May 14 election on the same day 73 years after the 1950 election. “The entire Islamic world is following May 14. Every brother and sister whose heart beats with us is a part of this country.”

“As the AKP, we managed to become first in all of the 15 elections and referendums we have entered since the day we were founded. The AKP is a party that has written its name in golden letters not only in Turkish political life, but also in world democracy,” Erdoğan said.

He noted that there 17 main points that they will create the “Century of Turkey” upon. “The Century of Turkey is the century of compassion, production, productivity, stability, development, sustainability, peace, communication, future, power, righteousness, values, digital, youth, peace, success and science.”

As the first promise, Erdoğan said they will construct 650,000 houses in the earthquake zone, of which 319,000 will be completed in a year. He added they will transform all 81 provinces into disaster-resilient ones.

“We have ensured that our people can look to their future with confidence, by crushing the heads of terrorist organizations even outside our borders. We will ensure that Turkey continues on its way as an island of peace and security with preventive security efforts,” he added.

Erdoğan also claimed “We will not allow any lifestyle and identity to be imposed on any part of our society, as we have done so far.”

However, he also said “We will never surrender our Kurdish brothers and sisters to the darkness of Republican People's Party (CHP) fascism, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) perversion, and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) oppression. We will strengthen our family structure with all kinds of material and moral support as well as protection from all deviant ideologies,” referring to the LGBTI+ groups.

“With the Family Protective Program, we will start many practices, from supporting the retirement of housewives to ensuring that there is at least one employee in every family. In order to encourage our young people to start a family, we will contribute financially to them in every field from education to employment, from marriage to childcare. In order to achieve these goals, we will establish a Family and Youth Bank, which will be sourced from the natural gas and oil revenues produced by our country. We will provide our youth in higher education with tax exemption for mobile phones and computers for once, and we will also provide 10 gigabytes of free internet per month,” he added.

Erdoğan argued that the inflation will drop to the single-digit rates. “We will continue to grow our economy through investment, employment, production, exports and current account surplus. With the target of 90 million tourists and 100 billion dollars in tourism income, we will accelerate investment and promotion. By reaching 15 billion dollars in IT exports, we will transform our country into a global center in this field. In the coming period, with an annual growth rate of 5.5 percent, we will increase our national income to 1.5 trillion dollars in this period, and then to 2 trillion dollars. As we have increased our per capita income from 3,600 dollars to 10,600 dollars, we will increase it to 16,000 dollars and then to higher levels.”

Turkey’s GDP per capita had continuously decreased from 12,500 dollars to 8,561 dollars between 2013 and 2020.

Erdoğan also said they will implement the Digital Turkish Lira project, “for which we have established the design and cryptology infrastructure.”

He also stated that they will establish a “super high speed train line between Ankara and Istanbul.” However, there is already a high speed train line between two provinces, a project constructed by the AKP government.

Among other promises one of them has drawn ire the most. Erdoğan said they will abolish interviewing civil servant candidates. However, this practice was started by the AKP government in the first place and was widely used especially in the latest years to employ pro-government figures in the state institutions rather than more successful candidates.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader and Nation Alliance’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu took to issue to Twitter and said “First, waste all the young people with interviews and nepotism, then promise to remove the disgrace you have made with my projects, just days before the election. Erdoğan, you can only talk about my projects now, I will fix these disgraces you have signed.” 

Kılıçdaroğlu promised to abolish this practice on the same day before Erdoğan during a rally held in Çanakkale province.

Moreover, the AKP-breakaway and opposition Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) leader Ali Babacan said “I am glad that Mr. Erdoğan has read our action plan 33 days before the election. It is true that the interviews will be gone, but the one who said it is wrong. Wrong time, wrong person :).”

The parliamentary and presidential elections will be held together on May 14 in a historic year as 2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey.

Erdoğan’s AKP will compete in the election under the People’s Alliance together with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Great Unity Party (BBP) and New Welfare Party (YRP).