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Saturday, May 18, 2024

At least 1.7M people attend mass Istanbul rally, Turkish president says

Ahead of May 14 elections, Erdogan pledges to enhance Türkiye's economy, defense industry, energy resources further

With less than a week left for presidential and parliamentary elections in Türkiye, the country’s president held a mass rally in Istanbul on Sunday with at least 1.7 million people attending.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed the massive crowd of people at the Istanbul rally and recalled his government’s achievements over the last 21 years.

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The Turkish leader said his government has tripled the national income over the past 21 years. “In 21 years, we have provided jobs and food to 21 million people added to our population. We built 10.5 million new houses in 21 years and provided families home.”

He criticized the Turkish opposition over their inimical rhetoric on homegrown drones and combat drones, and pledged to further enhance the country’s defense industry.

On energy, Erdogan recalled the billions of dollars of worth natural gas and oil reserves discovered in the Black Sea and Türkiye’s southern Gabar area that has been put at the disposal of Turkish nation.

Erdogan also said his government is implementing the “Great Istanbul Tunnel Project,” which he said “will be the third tube to run through beneath the Sea of Marmara.”

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“We are preparing Istanbul for the Century of Türkiye, and Istanbul will be the locomotive for the rise of the Century of Türkiye,” he added.

The elections in Türkiye will take place on May 14. On the presidential ballot, voters will choose between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking reelection, leading opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Muharrem Ince, and Sinan Ogan.

Meanwhile, 24 political parties and 151 independent candidates are vying for seats in the 600-member Turkish parliament.