Leader of Turkey’s opposition Nationalist Movement Party(MHP) Devlet Bahceli has called for early elections, as anti - government protests continue across the country for the ninth day.
On Saturday, Bahceli called for snap elections and for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to reaffirm his mandate in order to overcome the current unrest. " The prime minister ' s stance and the tumult have deepened the crisis, " said the opposition leader, adding, “The prime minister ' s time is up, we believe he has to renew his mandate. " Thousands of anti - government protesters took to the streets in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Saturday. This came as Erdogan convened top officials from his Justice and Development Party in Istanbul to discuss the recent wave of anti - government protests across the country. Speaking after the meeting, party spokesman Huseyin Cilik rejected the opposition’s call for early elections, saying local and presidential elections would be held next year as planned followed by the general elections in 2015.
" The government is running like clockwork. There is nothing that necessitates early elections, " Cilik said, adding, " The world is dealing with an economic crisis and things are going well in Turkey. Elections are not held because people are marching on the streets. "
Demonstrators have reportedly set up tents at Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square for a weekend of protests. Fresh rallies have been also planned in the Turkish capital, Ankara. On Friday, Erdogan called for an immediate end to the demonstrations in the country and said the government was open to “democratic demands,” but adding that the demonstrations were “bordering on vandalism.” The unrest began after police broke up a sit-in staged at Taksim Square on May 31 to protest against the demolition of Gezi Park. The protesters say the park, which is a traditional gathering point for rallies and demonstrations as well as a popular tourist destination, is the city's last public green space.