Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday joined the ranks of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) by signing a membership form as a referendum held on April 16 enabled him to join a political party.
Turkey approved a constitutional package in a referendum on April 16 with 51.4 percent of the vote allowing Erdoğan to retain his ties to the AKP and switching the country to an executive presidency.
The AKP will also hold an extraordinary party convention on May 21 where Erdoğan is expected to run as the only candidate for AKP leadership.
Erdoğan was among the founders of the AKP in 2001 and served as its leader since the party’s establishment and as prime minister from March 2003 to August 2014, when he was elected president.
In Turkey’s former system, the president has to be impartial and sever ties with their political party after being elected to the top state post; however, Erdoğan was being criticized for still acting like the AKP leader.
May 2, 2017