Eyeing Greater Power, Erdogan Rallies Turks in Europe Ahead of Vote

Defying opposition calls to stay out of campaigning, President Tayyip Erdogan rallied Turks in Europe on Sunday, urging them to vote in a June general election he hopes will help bring him greater powers.
Erdogan is constitutionally bound to remain above party politics after becoming head of state last August. But opponents say he has used rallies around Turkey, and now Europe, to lobby for the ruling AK Party ahead of an election that could reshape Turkey's political landscape.
Under the current constitution, the head of state must be politically impartial. What Turkey has now under Erdogan, who founded the AK Party and was prime minister for 11 years before winning the presidency last August, is an awkward compromise.
He wants the AK Party to raise the number of parliament seats it holds to 400 of 550 in June, comfortably giving it the two-thirds majority needed to change the constitution and create a presidential system without a referendum.



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