Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejoined the ruling party on Tuesday after an absence of nearly three years, the first major change to come into effect following a controversial vote to boost his powers.
Critics fears the change will lead to a one-man authoritarian rule with too few checks and balances. However, an amendment that reverses a requirement for the president to be neutral and cut ties with their party came into effect immediately, allowing Erdogan to return to the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party, or AKP. Supporters say they will usher in stability and more efficient government.
Erdogan became the fourth Turkish president to retain his party ties at a special ceremony in Ankara on Tuesday.
Erdogan arrived at the AKP headquarters in a 13-vehicle motorcade, the five-minute journey broadcast live on television channels.
Aktay said Erdogan will also likely be reinstalled as party chairman on 21 May at an extraordinary AKP congress.
'President Erdogan is expected to become the party's chairman'.
Erdoğan, who has four children, has described the AKP as his "fifth child" and has never made a secret of his desire to return to the fold.
The referendum results showed that the AK Party needs some serious overhaul and the party has to reset its goals to be able to satisfy the masses and some of the people who voted "no" to the constitutional changes and who were actually former AK Party voters.
Although the AKP has won every election since 2002, in June 2015 it suffered a setback after losing its absolute majority in parliament before winning it back in November that year.
"You have no choice but to open up those chapters that you have not yet opened", Erdogan said in Ankara, referring to the different parts of the accession agreement. If you open, then great.
Commenting on the European Union position on Turkey's internal reforms, such as a proposal to reinstate the death penalty, Esener labeled it as a "provocation".
The EU process is not formally frozen, but EU lawmakers called last week for a formal halt to talks, with some saying Turkey no longer met the democratic criteria to be considered a candidate, let alone a full member, for the EU.
"First you have to handle these chapters and fulfill your promises". We can then sit at a table and discuss.