Turkey's President Erdoğan declares early elections on June 24

Speaking at a news conference at the presidential complex following a meeting with opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahceli, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in his remarks that the early presidential and parliamentary elections would be held on June 24 in 2018.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday Turkey's presidential and parliamentary elections will be brought forward to June 24, more than a year earlier than planned, saying the country urgently needed to make the switch to an executive presidency.

Erdoğan said he made the decision after speaking to the head of the nationalist MHP party, Devlet Bahçeli , who a day earlier had floated the prospect of early polls. The elections had previously been slated for November 2019.

"Even though the president and government are working in unison, the diseases of the old system confront us at every step we take," Erdoğan said in a speech broadcast live on television.

"Developments in Syria and elsewhere have made it urgent to switch to the new executive system in order to take steps for our country's future in a stronger way... We discussed Mr Bahçeli 's call with our relevant authorities. We came to the agreement that we should approach this early election positively."

"For this reason at the end of talks with Mr. Bahceli, we decided to hold elections on June 24, 2018 on Sunday."

The announcement comes after Bahçeli made a call on Tuesday for early elections in the country.

The date will still need to be confirmed by the election commission, he noted, but preparations would begin.

Bahçeli 's small MHP party is expected to form an alliance with Erdoğan's ruling AK Party in the parliamentary polls.

On April 16, 2017, Turkey held a referendum during which the majority of voters decided in favor of an 18-article bill to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system.

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