NewsErdogan announces retirement, marks end of era in Turkish politics

Erdogan announces retirement, marks end of era in Turkish politics

Erdogan says goodbye to power. Talks about "last elections"
Erdogan says goodbye to power. Talks about "last elections"
Images source: © PAP | AA/ABACA
8:31 AM EDT, March 10, 2024

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has led Turkey for over two decades, has declared his intention to retire from politics, stating that the forthcoming local elections will be his final political endeavor.

"I have worked tirelessly because this is my finale; these upcoming elections will mark my last," said Erdogan about the local elections scheduled for March 31.

For the first time, Erdogan, who served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2014 before becoming President, explicitly announced his retirement from politics, a move that has been widely discussed in Turkish media since Saturday.

Erdogan affirmed his belief that the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which he founded, would continue to govern even after he stepped down.

He views the March local elections as "a blessing for those who will succeed him; an act of passing on the mantle of leadership."

A New Chapter

Erdogan's political journey commenced at the end of the 90s when he became the mayor of Istanbul. Today, the contest for Istanbul, the country's largest city, which the opposition Republican People's Party currently leads, is pivotal for the future of Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu. Imamoglu, often seen as the AKP's primary challenger, is considered a potential future President of Turkey, as " Daily Sabah" reports

According to the Turkish constitution, the presidency is limited to two terms. Nonetheless, Erdogan ran for a third term in 2023, a move made possible by constitutional changes in 2017. Erdogan and his allies argue that these amendments mean his first term does not count towards the term limit.

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