Erdoğan on Gül’s candidacy: I don’t have a problem with that

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L) and Turkey's former President Abdullah Gül attend the opening ceremony of "Abdullah Gul Museum and Library" in Kayseri, Turkey on December 4, 2016. Turkish Presidency / Yasin Bulbul / Anadolu Agency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday said the possible candidacy of former President Abdullah Gül from the opposition side would not change his plans for the June 24 snap presidential and parliamentary elections, Sputnik reported.

“I don’t have a problem with that. We’ll see who is in the squares to campaign. We’ll see who is there and then go on our way. We decide everything including the scenarios we want. Those who oppose us should get themselves ready with that in mind,” Erdoğan told reporters who asked about former President Gül’s possible candidacy in the presidential election, following a speech at the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) group meeting in Parliament.

Upon a question concerning a secret meeting last night between Gül and former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Erdoğan said: “I don’t know.”

During his speech at the party meeting Erdoğan expressed his uneasiness about  the efforts of opposition parties to forge election alliances.

“There is a strange scenario now. We’ll see how it plays out by the weekend,” he said.

Upon a question as to whether or not Gül would be a candidate in the presidential election, following a meeting with Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in Ankara on Monday, Felicity Party (SP) leader Temel Karamollaoğlu said, “Your question will be answered by this weekend.”

On Monday, 15 deputies from the main opposition CHP resigned and joined the İYİ (Good) Party as part of a tactical move to enable the new party to run in snap presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.

The İYİ Party previously had five deputies in Parliament. According the Turkish elections law, only political parties that have 20 deputies in Parliament or have established local branches in half the provinces and have held a grand congress six months before the election date can run in the elections.

The move came days after a secret meeting between CHP Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu and İYİ Party Chairwoman Meral Akşener for a possible alliance in the upcoming elections.

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