Erodgan is "willing to leave office" if his party loses Turkey's elections

Published March 5th, 2014 - 08:09 GMT
Will Erdogan really step down if the AK party don't win the elections in March? (AFP/File)
Will Erdogan really step down if the AK party don't win the elections in March? (AFP/File)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is ready to leave power if his ruling Justice and Development party (AK) fails to win the upcoming local elections.

“I am ready to quit politics unless my party emerges winner in the elections” which are scheduled to be held on March 30, said the Turkish prime minister on Wednesday.

Erdogan further stated the number of supporters attending the AK election rallies shows a backlash against the recent corruption charges targeting his administration.

Turkey has been the scene of a deepening political crisis since December 17, 2014, after dozens of government officials and prominent businessmen close to Erdogan were arrested on graft charges.

The Turkish premier has denounced the probe into the graft charges as a “dirty” plot to undermine his government ahead of the local elections in March. He says outside forces have a hand in a “smear campaign” against his administration.

Erdogan has also accused the rivals in the group of U.S.-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, of acting as a “state within a state” trying to topple his government by prompting the high-level corruption probe against his close allies. However, Gulen has denied any involvement.

The scandal also affected the country’s economy with the currency, lira, at record lows against the dollar and the value of shares tumbling on the Istanbul stock exchange.

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