Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan declares early elections on June 24

Erdogan’s shadow army The influence of SADAT Turkey's private defense group

Turkey to hold snap elections on 24 June, says Erdoğan

It came following a meeting between the Turkish president and his ally Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Turkey's High Electoral Board (YSK) has completed all preparations for early elections, slated for June 24 by President Tayyip Erdogan, and is waiting for parliament's approval, the board's chairman said.

He said the first scenario could be early elections on August 26 as Bahceli proposed, or Erdogan could insist that elections take place on the dates already established.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan surprised even his close associates with his decision to go to snap polls. His extended powers were expected to take effect until after the presidential election.

The United Nations last month called for an end to the emergency and accused Ankara of mass arrests, arbitrary sacking and other abuses.

The date set by Erdogan will precipitate an intense election campaign as opposition parties seek to challenge his grip.

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"Be it the cross-border operations in Syria, or incidents of historic importance centred in Syria and Iraq, they have made it imperative for Turkey to overcome uncertainties quickly", Erdogan said.

Though tensions between Russian Federation and Turkey remain prominent, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opposes Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad while Moscow provides him military and economic support, President Vladimir Putin visited Ankara this month to boost bilateral ties.

But Fadi Hakura, Turkey expert at London-based think tank Chatham House, told AFP that the authorities were keen to hold the elections before any further deterioration in the economy.

Erdogan should have waited until next year to be able to rule Turkey under an executive presidency. Following unsuccessful attempts to form a coalition government, a snap election was called for November with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) recording its biggest ever win in terms of popular vote.

MHP leader since 1997, Bahçeli is seen as a kingmaker in Turkish politics and has played a role in some key moments of its modern history.

"By calling snap elections for June, Erdogan is signaling that he believes his support, at least for the near future, has peaked". The AKP has ruled Turkey ever since.

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