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Turkey elections moved up to June: Prez Erdogan

Turkey elections moved up to June: Prez Erdogan”

The presidential and parliamentary elections will take place under a state of emergency that has been in place since an attempted coup in July 2016. "The malaise of the old system can be seen in every step we take".

The elections are especially significant as afterwards a new executive presidency - agreed in a 2017 referendum and denounced by critics as giving the president authoritarian powers - will come into force. But when Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, an Erdogan ally, called for snap elections it became clear that the AKP indeed did not want to wait until late next year.

The elections will be held a year earlier than scheduled, and some experts said the decision was made because Erdogan is anxious his popularity would plummet before November 2019, when the next elections were originally scheduled.

Media outlets have been shut down and scores of journalists have also been jailed.

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The President announced early elections.

"We are as ready as if they would be held tomorrow", Tezcan said.

"There can not be an election under emergency rule", CHP spokesman Bulent Tezcan said.

The Turkish lira, which has lost seven percent against the dollar over the past year, responded positively to the news, climbing 1.1 percent with investors gladdened over the end of uncertainty over the poll date.

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The country will be going into the election under a state of emergency.

The Turkish President, 64, has been in power since 2003, first as Prime Minister and then as President from 2014 after constitutionally changing the role and importance of the office. Erdogan, who has led the country for the past 15 years, would be able to run for two five-year terms in addition to his current term.

Regardless of whether all this is for domestic consumption - as Erdogan sees it strengthening him politically - or whether the Turkish leader truly believes that Turkey is a regional superpower that is "trapped" in the confines of its present borders because of past worldwide treaties that do not correspond to the "borders of his heart" and thus need to be revised or updated, this outbreak of nationalism is creating an extremely risky situation in the Aegean.

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