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Turkish president unveils election manifesto

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday announced the Justice and Development (AK) Party’s manifesto ahead of the May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Speaking in the capital Ankara, Erdogan, also AK Party’s chairman, unveiled a 23-point election manifesto, which firstly focuses on the steps to heal the wounds of Feb. 6 earthquakes victims in southern Türkiye.

“Every attack, every disaster, every pain we experience, especially the earthquakes of Feb. 6, shows that we need to tighten our unity, protect our unity more, and strengthen our brotherhood even more,” Erdogan said.

Vowing soon to erase the traces of the earthquakes, which claimed more than 50,000 lives, Erdogan said Türkiye will rebuild the cities across 11 provinces.

“We will completely heal the wounds caused by the disaster in 11 provinces and their neighboring cities by building a total of 650,000 new houses, 319,000 of which will be delivered in one year,” he added.

Pledging to raise Türkiye in the upcoming period, Erdogan said: “Türkiye has no choice but to be strong, stay strong, and increase its power in order not to fall back into the pit of political and economic bondage.”

With a “national risk shield model,” he added that 81 provinces will be transformed into disaster-resilient cities.

The manifesto also includes the areas of economy, environment, family, justice, and freedoms.

Turning to the economy, Erdogan said Türkiye aims to bring inflation down to single digits, adding: “We will increase the welfare level of our employees, from civil servants to retirees and workers, by always increasing their wages above inflation.”

Türkiye will continue with investment, production, and export until reaching the goal of bringing its foreign trade volume to $1 trillion, he added.

“In the coming period, with an annual growth rate of 5.5%, we will increase our national income to $1.5 trillion in this period, and then to our main target of $2 trillion,” the president said.

By creating 6 million new jobs in five years, Erdogan promised to reduce the unemployment rate to 7%, saying: “We will continue to attach special importance to the employment of women and youth.”

He also said Türkiye will speed up investment and promotion in tourism with a goal of 90 million tourists and $100 billion in tourism revenue.

Türkiye will continue on its path with stability as “an island of peace and security” at a time when the world and the region are experiencing aggravated challenges, Erdogan said.

“We will build the axis of Türkiye with a foreign policy where both our country, our region and humanity will find peace and stability, multilateralism, more cooperation, peace, stability, and humanitarian diplomacy,” he stressed.

He reminded the participants that Türkiye can negotiate with both sides in the Russia-Ukraine war, make concrete progress such as the grain corridor and prisoner exchange, and keep the possibility of peace on the table.

Ankara also strengthens cooperation with the Islamic world without getting permission from anyone, he added.

The president also said Türkiye’s power will be increased in the areas of energy, agriculture, education, and transportation.

“Hopefully, on May 14, we will start the dawn of the Century of Türkiye together. We will build peace, brotherhood, trust, cities, life, and happiness together,” he added.

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