Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan re-elected as ruling party leader

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan re-elected as ruling party leader”

Just a month after a vote approved transferring Turkey's center of political power to the presidency from parliament, the Justice and Development Party's leadership and tens of thousands of party faithful convened to anoint Erdogan at a congress in Ankara.

Despite global criticism of these measures, Mr. Erdogan said on Sunday that the state of emergency "will not be lifted" and shrugged off concerns remarking "How dare you ask us to lift the state of emergency". He received the votes of 1,414 party delegates.

After the 16 April referendum on creating an executive presidency, Erdogan was able to rejoin the party and become chairman once more as he seeks to take control of the party and its direction.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been re-elected as the leader of Turkey's ruling party.

Until the April 17 vote, Turkish presidents had to cut ties with their parties to show their neutrality. He replaces Binali Yildirim, who is set to remain as prime minister until elections in 2019.

And as head of the country and the party, he now has a lot more freedom to make political appointments based on favor rather than ability.

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Erdogan led the party for three terms during his premiership between 2003 and 2014, helping build the AKP into an all-conquering election machine that has yet to be defeated at the ballot box.

Under the old constitution, the head of state had to sever ties with their political party and Erdogan left as AK Party chairman in August 2014 after his election as president. Leaders of the main pro-Kurdish party, whose boost in support was instrumental in stripping the Justice and Development Party of its ability to rule alone after that election, were later jailed on terrorism charges. The congress continued with ongoing chanting and singing by attendees from all over Turkey, including provincial organization members of the AK Party. His return is believed to mark a new era for the country as well as for his party, as he intends to strengthen the powers of the Central Committee for Decision-Making and Party Management and to place in key party positions new-age executives for a dynamic new start.

He said the state of emergency would be extended to address the issues that Turkey is facing.

Erdemir told AFP: "This new prerogative will allow him to design both a party apparatus and a parliamentary group composed entirely of loyalists".

Erdogan recently said he won't be lifting it anytime soon.

On the eve of Sunday's AKP congress Turkish police killed two suspected Islamic State terrorists in a clash during a raid on an apartment in Ankara, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

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