President Erdogan: March 31st is not an end for us; it is actually a turning point

Turkish Republic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the citizens at the AK Party Headquarters regarding the local elections.

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Erdogan said, "March 31st is not an end for us; it is actually a turning point. In the local elections on March 31st, the Turkish nation once again conveyed their messages to politicians through the ballot box."

Here are some excerpts from Erdogan's speech:

"Dear citizens, beloved residents of Ankara, dear brothers and sisters, I greet you with the most heartfelt feelings, affection, and respect. From here, from the AK Party Headquarters, I greet all of Turkey, each of the 85 million citizens, with respect.

I express my gratitude to each of you for your support and appreciation. I thank my Lord for granting me loyal comrades, loyal companions like you.

As a nation and the Islamic world, we are observing the Sultan of the eleven months, the Ramadan. First of all, I congratulate the Ramadan Sharif of all our people, all Muslims.

We wish that God will be the helper and supporter of our Gazan brothers and sisters who have spent these blessed days under bombs. We pray to God to lead us to Ramadan, and hopefully, to the holiday, with health, peace, and with our loved ones.

We have completed the Local Administration Elections of March 31 with the maturity befitting our democracy, thank God. Apart from some isolated incidents, no unfortunate incidents that would overshadow the election atmosphere occurred.

In our Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia regions, we witnessed the pressure and insults of the slaves of the separatist organization against our citizens.

But thanks to the effective interventions of our security forces, no serious problem occurred. Thanks to the common sense of our citizens and the sacrifices of our security forces, Turkish democracy once again proved its maturity.

First of all, I must express a point here. As you know, elections are the most critical days of democracies. The will of the people is manifested at the ballot box. The nation speaks its word through the ballot box. The nation conveys its message to politicians through the ballot box. The nation expresses its warning and approval through the ballot box.

The fact that the decision of the people is revealed at the ballot box without any pressure, imposition, or manipulation is a great gain for our democracy. March 31st is not an end for us; it is actually a turning point. In the local elections on March 31st, the Turkish nation once again conveyed their messages to politicians through the ballot box.

Regardless of the results, the real winner of this election is, first of all, our democracy, the national will, and all 85 million people, regardless of their political views.

In the election marathon, everyone who strengthened the power of the ballot by using their democratic rights, from those who voted for the AK Party and the People's Alliance to others, has won.

I sincerely thank all the citizens who freely expressed their will at the ballot box, regardless of their political party.

I also extend my sincere thanks to our election boards, polling officials, and security personnel who worked with a sense of high responsibility. I wish the election results to be auspicious for our country, our nation, our cities, towns, and villages.

The March 31st elections were the 18th exam we entered in the last 22 years. Nine months after our victory in the May 14-28 elections, unfortunately, we did not achieve the result we hoped for, desired in the local election exam.

As the AK Party and the People's Alliance, we prepared intensively for this exam just like before. Since the election calendar started, AK Party cadres were in the field day and night.

Our organization members worked with extraordinary dedication in harmony with our Alliance partners, they ran around, they put effort and labor. In the last two months alone, we visited 52 different cities. On this occasion, we both took the pulse of our people and shared our accomplishments, projects, and goals with our nation.

We also met with various segments of our society through iftar and opening programs. I thank all the cities that embraced us with love.

I congratulate each of our members, from the headquarters to the provincial branches; from the district branches to the town, neighborhood, and village representatives, who did not leave their duty stations until the last minute.

I also express my gratitude to the Chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party, Mr. Devlet Bahceli, and all the members of the Nationalist Movement Party with whom we cooperated in the Alliance in the same way.

I express my gratitude to the leaders and members of other political parties who declared their support for our Alliance.

I say, may God be pleased with everyone, from all the workers of our party, our Alliance, to all the veterans of our great and strong Turkey cause. We are a cadre that has always walked with the people throughout our political life, that has not deviated from the path drawn by the people. Just as here...

Brothers, we have always been on the side of common sense, patience, and dignity. We have always sided with democracy, national will, and the ballot box. Today, we act with the same sense of responsibility. We do not recognize any power above the esteemed will of the people.

As we have not refrained from appreciating, congratulating, accepting, and respecting the will of the people before, we will continue to do the same in the future.

We will definitely take the necessary steps by weighing the messages of the people in the ballot box with our wisdom and conscience, in the most accurate and objective way. We will certainly not disrespect the decision of the people. We will stay away from opposing the people, acting against the national will, questioning the people's approval, just as we have done so far.

In the places where the people's decision is respected, 'real municipalism' will be our vision, and we will surely implement it with determination.

I wholeheartedly believe that the mayors of metropolitan municipalities, provincial, district, and township mayors, municipal council members, provincial general assembly members, muhtars, and council members elected by the people will work diligently to meet the demands of the cities and their residents during their terms of office.

As the government, we will continue to support all elected local administrators in their efforts to serve their cities' best interests, just as we have done before.

Brothers, the ballots have been cast, the people have spoken their final word, made their decision. The Supreme Election Council will announce the final results in the coming days. Of course, each political party will analyze the election results within its own organization.

We will also evaluate the results of the March 31st elections with open hearts in our party organs, and we will courageously make our self-criticism. Although not finalized yet, the election results indicate that we have experienced a decline in our altitude across the country.

We will examine the reasons for this decline in detail except for some local exceptions. We will identify the reasons very well wherever we have lost ground and take necessary measures.

In places where we have gained the trust of our people, we will work harder than ever to not disappoint this trust.

But under no circumstances will we disrespect the decision of our people. We will not confront with the people, act against the national will, or question the people's approval, just as we have done so far.

We will definitely take the necessary steps by weighing the messages of the people in the ballot box with our wisdom and conscience, in the most accurate and objective way. We will definitely make our self-criticism and take the necessary steps. We will turn the period until the next elections into a comprehensive accountability ground where we renew ourselves in every aspect and compensate for our mistakes.

I would like to mention one fact here. The general and local election marathon, which started this time last year, has now been completed. It is a great gain for our country, our nation, and our economy that the election book, which has tired our country, nation, and economy for the past year, is closed today.

Turkey has a treasure trove of more than 4 years ahead. It is important for all of us to make the best use of this time together.

We cannot waste this period with discussions that will steal the time of our nation and our country. As a political party that has completed its 21st year in power, we are aware of our responsibilities both in the government and in local administrations.

We will focus more on urgent issues of our country, such as the reconstruction of the earthquake zone and the resolution of economic problems.

We have diligently implemented our Medium-Term Program and 12th Development Plan, which are our roadmaps in the economy.

We have stayed away from populist steps that would cost our country, nation, and future generations dearly. We will begin to see the positive results of our economic program, especially inflation, in the second half of the year.

Everyone, from our business world to our bureaucracy, from our tradesmen to our farmers, traders, workers, and students, will be able to focus on their real agenda.

Thanks to our successful operations, we will definitely deliver the fatal blow to the separatist terrorist organization that we have cornered. I emphasize once again.

We will not allow the establishment of a "terrorist state" beyond our southern borders. We are determined to eliminate the last remnants of the FETÖ betrayal network, the perpetrator of the July 15 coup attempt. By quickly bringing the topics that the election process pushed into the background back to the agenda, we will take the necessary steps swiftly.

We will continue our moves that will strengthen Turkey's international role, the weight of its word, and its key position in establishing global peace.

Brothers, once again, I promise our nation and all of Turkey. We will tirelessly, tirelessly run to increase the welfare, peace, security, and hopes of each of the 85 million people. We will support the oppressed, rush to the aid of the needy, and stand upright against any oppression wherever there is oppression.

Just as we have spoken with our accomplishments and services for the past 21 years, we will not deviate from this path for the next 5 years.

I thank each of you for your loyalty, solidarity, and affection. I wish the results of the March 31st Local Administration Elections to be auspicious for our country and our cities. I salute you all with love and respect. Stay healthy.

Hibya Haber Ajansı

President Erdogan: March 31st is not an end for us; it is actually a turning point
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