A protester gestures and chants slogans during a march at the Kadikoy district in Istanbul. Pics/AFP
Ankara: Turkey's ruling AK Party set out plans on Wednesday for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to gradually take back the party reins, in a sign it would begin implementing changes approved in the referendum despite opposition attempts to annul it. Prime Minister and AKP leader Binali Yildirim said Erdogan can rejoin the party he founded in 2001 once official results of the plebiscite, granting him sweeping powers, are announced. Those results are expected before the end of the month. But he said the AKP would not hold a party congress until 2018, indicating Erdogan would not officially become its leader until then.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
There were widespread expectations he would take over the leadership almost immediately after the vote. "When the High Electoral Board (YSK) announces official results, our president will be able to return to the party," Yildirim told reporters.
His comments came as the YSK met to evaluate appeals to annul the referendum.
Meanwhile, a defiant Erdogan, whose narrow victory exposed the nation's deep divisions, has said the vote ended all debate on the more powerful presidency he has long sought.
Ankara: After floating the suggestion that Turkey's main opposition, Republican People's Party could consider withdrawing from the parliament in protest over irregularities in the referendum, the spokesman announced that it had decided to not do so.