President Erdoğan signals return to ruling AKP as chairman

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ANKARA, TURKEY - APRIL 23: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Yiğit Türk, 10-year-old 4th grade student from Mehmet Akif Primary School who represented the President to mark the National Sovereignty and Children's Day, are seen at the meeting hall of the National Security Council (MGK), at Presidential Complex during the National Sovereignty and Children's Day in Ankara, Turkey on April 23, 2017. AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he may return to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as chairman, following a referendum last week in which constitutional amendments that expand his power were narrowly approved.

When asked about a return to the AKP during a meeting with children to mark April 23, National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in the presidential palace on Sunday, Erdoğan replied, “Why not?”

“These amendments now give me that right,he said when a fourth grade student, Yiğit Türk, who symbolically replaced Erdoğan as president for the occasion, directed a question to him.

Political leaders in Turkey, in a longstanding tradition, symbolically give their seats to children on April 23 to emphasize that the future belongs to the new generations.

Turkey approved a constitutional package in a referendum on April 16 with 51.4 percent of the votes, allowing Erdoğan to retain his links with the AKP and switching the country to an executive presidency.

Erdoğan is expected to apply to be registered with the party after the results of the referendum are officially announced.

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