Erdogan rejoins Turkey ruling party after near 3-year absence

The president will likely be reinstalled as party chairman on May 21 to replace Yildirim

Afp May 02, 2017
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends an interview with Reuters at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, April 25, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

ANKARA: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday rejoined the Turkish ruling party after a nearly three-year absence, in the first major change to come into effect following the referendum victory on expanding his powers.

Erdogan signed a membership document to rejoin the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) that he co-founded, at a ceremony at its headquarters, an AFP photographer said.

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Party officials then burst into thunderous applause and sang the national anthem.

Erdogan was accompanied by his wife Emine and was sat next to the AKP chairman and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

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The president will likely be reinstalled as party chairman on May 21 at an extraordinary AKP congress and replace Yildirim, who is set to stay on as premier.

After Erdogan signed the document, Yildirim told the president he had come back "home", adding: "Welcome, you have honoured (us)."


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