Turkey’s president hinted on Saturday that he would run for the last time next year, saying it was time to hand over to the “young people”.
During a speech in Samsun, a city in northern Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: “Hopefully in 2023 we will start building the Turkish century with the strength we will receive from our nation’s support for the last time on our behalf. “.
“We will hand over this sacred flag to our young people,” he added.
Turkey is due to hold national elections in 2023.
Erdoğan’s AKP party is seeking to stay in power, in power since 2003. However, it has been battered in the polls by recent economic turmoil, seen by experts as being due to government mismanagement.
Record inflation and the collapse of the lira in recent years have worried many Turks, who have seen their standard of living plummet.
Speaking on Saturday, Erdoğan said his Justice and Development Party (AKP) had made Turkey a key player on the world stage.
“We’re not just solving age-old problems for 20 years,” he said. “We have established a service infrastructure that even developed countries envy. Now they say that Turkey is a truly different country. Every global crisis is conducive to a better understanding of the power of our country.”
In October, the Turkish Statistical Institute reported inflation hit a 24-year high of 85.51%, although many said the real rate was likely even higher.
Meanwhile, the Turkish lira’s exchange value has plummeted in recent years, raising the costs of imported goods and undermining the purchasing power of businesses and households.
In September 2021, 1 US dollar was worth around 8 Turkish liras, but in October 2022 it has risen to almost 19.
During the speech at the opening ceremony of Vezirköprü State Hospital, Erdoğan highlighted his record.
“We saw the strength of our employment capacity at a time when there was talk of a shrinking economy. In the energy crisis, we have seen the power of our investments to mobilize our opportunities at the highest level. potential to seize new opportunities, building on our own strengths,” he said.
In October, Erdoğan reiterated his long-standing wish to prepare a new Turkish constitution that would be “democratic, simple and visionary”.
This project had been perceived by some observers as a desire to modify the limit of two presidential terms maximum, provided for by the Turkish constitution.
“Every choice is a crossroads,” Erdoğan said, referring to the upcoming elections. “Our nation made us the first in 15 elections and used its will to advance on the path of a great and powerful Turkey.”
“Of course, a person who has been leading the country for so many years can have shortcomings and mistakes,” he added.