Turkey to hold snap election in June

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says presidential and parliamentary elections will be held more than a year ahead of schedule, in order to accelerate the switch to an executive presidency and address challenges that lie ahead.

"As result of consultations with Mr. Bahceli, we chose to hold elections on June 24, 2018, a Sunday", said Erdogan, standing in front of Turkish flags at the presidential palace.

Presidential powers have been substantially strengthened through constitutional amendments following a referendum in April of past year.

"In a period when developments in Syria accelerated and we have to take very important decisions, from macroeconomic equilibrium to large investments, the election issue should be removed from the agenda as soon as possible", he told a news conference at the presidential palace in Ankara.

The polls will be the first since a referendum past year that transformed Turkey's parliamentary democracy into a powerful executive presidency and will hand the president sweeping new powers after the elections. The extra powers granted by the referendum will go into effect after the upcoming presidential election.

On April 17, Bahceli called for holding snap elections on August 26.

Erdoğan has established a formal alliance with the MHP to fight the elections, which made it hard for his Justice and Development party (AKP) to to dismiss Bahçeli's call out of hand.

Guven said the YSK would investigate in the coming days eligibility conditions to determine which parties can take part in the elections.

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But our military operation in Syria and the historically significant regional developments in Syria and Iraq made it compulsory for Turkey to overcome the uncertainties.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is meeting the leader of the country's main nationalist party to discuss his political ally's surprise call for early elections. "We have chose to give a positive response to this proposal on holding early elections", he added.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, CHP leader said "We will send them (the AKP) out".

Erdogan won almost 52 percent of the vote in the 2014 presidential polls.

MHP leader Bahceli previously said that his party will support the current president Erdogan as a candidate.

Meanwhile, the parliament on Wednesday approved a fresh three-month extension to a state of emergency, which was enforced after a failed coup against Erdogan in July 2016.

The European Union, which Ankara seeks to join, said in a report published on Tuesday that measures undertaken by Turkey under the nearly two-year-old state of emergency have curtailed civil and political rights and called for its immediate lifting. Parliament extended it for a seventh time despite calls for its end.