Erdoğan likely to insist on May 14 election despite deadly earthquakes, says Turkish media

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

According to pro-government Turkish media, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is not planning to delay this year's presidential elections because of the devastating earthquake, which has left tens of thousands of people dead.

"President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan plans to stick to the election timetable announced earlier, even after two earthquakes devastated southeastern Turkey and left more than 43,000 dead, according to sources close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)," Sabah reported.

Erdoğan and senior AKP members held a seven-hour meeting on Wednesday to discuss postponing the long-awaited election date and concluded that they should stick to the proposed May 14 election date, the report said.

Keeping his silence on the election for the past two weeks, Erdoğan withdrew the original date of June 18 because it coincides with the end of the school term, the departure of 100,000 citizens for the Hajj pilgrimage and high school and university entrance exams.

The possibility of a repeat election that could coincide with Eid al-Adha is open, sources said.

A majority of AKP MPs are also said to be in favour of holding the election on May 14.

While Turkey is reeling from the powerful 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes, which have been called "the disaster of the century," the Erdoğan government is trying to step up recovery efforts and stave off a blow to the country's economy through a "reconstruction operation".

According to the same sources, Erdoğan wants to dispel any doubt about the date of the elections, in response to protests from the opposition alliance about the possibility of a postponement.

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