World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has officially announced Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as its presidential candidate to enter into Turkey's first democratic presidential election on August 10.
Ruling AK Party Deputy Chairman Mehmet Ali Sahin announced the prime minister's widely expected candidacy in the August presidential election to loud applause from party members at a meeting in the capital Ankara.
"Normally it is necessary to have at least 20 signatures for a presidential candidate. We got the signatures of all party MPs," Sahin told the crowd, before screening of a film portraying Erdogan in his youth and throughout his political career.
"We entered politics for Allah, we entered politics for the people," Erdogan told a crowd of thousands in an auditorium in the capital Ankara, where the party faithful chanted "Turkey is proud of you".
"They called us regressive because we said our prayers," Erdogan said in speech rife with references to his faith in God after the screening of a film portraying him in his youth and throughout his political career.
"They said we weren't good enough to be a village leader, that we couldn't be prime minister, that we couldn't be elected president. They didn't even deign to see us as an equal person in the eyes of the state," he added.
The two main opposition parties - the center-left Republican People's Party (CHP) and the right-wing National Movement Party (MHP) - have already announced former Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as their joint candidate.
The pro-Kurdish Freedom and Democracy Party announced Selahattin Demirtas to represent them in the elections.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will enter the presidential race as the favorite, as opinion polls have already suggested.
Current president Abdullah Gul yesterday confirmed that he would not run for a second term.Last Mod: 01 Temmuz 2014, 13:35