Erdogan faces the biggest political challenge since his AKP party came to power in 2002, with opinion polls showing support has fallen in recent years after unorthodox economic policies hurt the Turkish lira and led to a rise strong inflation, according to Reuters.
Even so, the president repeated his economic mantra according to which investments, production, exports and a possible current account surplus will drive the gross domestic product.
“We will bring inflation back to single digits and save our country from this problem for good,” he told the crowd at Ankara’s stadium.
Erdogan’s aggressive interest rate cuts sent inflation to a 24-year peak of more than 85 percent in October, before it fell to nearly 50 percent in March. The ensuing cost-of-living crisis gripped Turkish households and reduced incomes and savings.
“We will further improve investments with a structure based on a free market economy integrated with the world,” states the ruling party’s manifesto, which aims for an annual growth of 5.5% in the period 2024-2028 and a GDP of 1,500 billions of dollars by the end of 2028.
Erdogan said last week that a team was working on strengthening economic policies.
In the presidential elections next month, Erdogan will face the main candidate of the opposition alliance, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
In the most recent survey conducted by Metropoll, 42.6% of respondents said they would vote for Kilicdaroglu and 41.1% for Erdogan in the first round of voting, with the other two presidential candidates receiving only 7.2% of the vote.
Support for Erdogan fell slightly after the devastating earthquake in February, amid a perception of a slow initial response.
“Our priority in the coming period will be the restoration of our cities that have been devastated,” Erdogan said, adding that the government aims to build 650,000 apartments for survivors.
Regarding foreign policy, Erdogan said that the AKP would continue to normalize relations in the region and that he would pursue the construction of an “axis of Turkey”. Ankara has recently taken steps to mend relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria after years of tensions.
“We can negotiate with both sides in the war between Russia and Ukraine, we can make concrete progress, such as the grain corridor and the prisoner exchange, and we can still talk about the possibility of peace,” Erdogan said.
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