With less than a week until presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey, the country’s president conducted a major rally in Istanbul on Sunday, attended by at least 1.7 million people.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the large turnout at the Istanbul event and praised his government’s accomplishments over the last 21 years.
The Turkish president claimed that his government has tripled the country’s GDP in the last 21 years. “In 21 years, we have added 21 million people to our population while providing jobs and food.” In 21 years, we built 10.5 million new dwellings and provided homes for families.”
He chastised the Turkish opposition for its anti-homegrown and combat drone rhetoric, and vowed to strengthen the country’s defense industry.
On energy, Erdogan recalled the billions of dollars in natural gas and oil deposits discovered in the Black Sea and Turkey’s southern Gabar region that had been made available to the Turkish people.
Erdogan also stated that his administration is working on the “Great Istanbul Tunnel Project,” which he claims will be “the third tube to run beneath the Sea of Marmara.”
“We are preparing Istanbul for the Century of Türkiye,” he stated, “and Istanbul will be the locomotive for the rise of the Century of Türkiye.”
Turkey’s elections will be held on May 14. Voters will pick between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking reelection, and top opposition candidates Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Muharrem Ince, and Sinan Ogan on the presidential ballot.In the meanwhile, 24 political parties and 151 independent candidates are competing for seats in Turkey’s 600-member parliament.