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Let’s leave election debates behind, focus on economy, security: Erdoğan

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said Turkey needs to leave election debates behind and focus on the country’s real agenda starting with the economy and security, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“Leaving the election debates behind, we need to focus on our main agenda, particularly the economy and security,” Erdoğan tweeted on Friday.

Erdoğan urged “handshaking, embracing each other and strengthening our unity and solidarity” while maintaining a balance between freedom and security.

Erdoğan pledged to put into practice the structural reforms that Turkey needs while resolutely countering terrorism.

“We 82 million [Turkish people] have to unite and act jointly as a TURKEY ALLIANCE on the issues concerning the future of our country, putting aside all our political differences,” he said, suggesting that election alliances give way to larger ones.

Erdoğan’s remarks came after Ekrem İmamoğlu of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) this week officially became mayor of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city and home to some 16 million people.

Millions of Turks cast their votes nationwide on March 31 in local elections to choose mayors, city council members and other officials for the next five years.

Despite İmamoğlu officially taking office, his election still faces legal challenges from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), citing illegalities at the polls.

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