Turkey's president rejoins ruling party after referendum win

Turkey's president rejoins ruling party after referendum win

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the European Union must open new chapters in Turkey's accession negotiations.

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. Erdogan signed a membership document to rejoin the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) that he co-founded, at a ceremony at its headquarters.

"Erdogan attaches as much importance to controlling his party as he does the new presidential system", Unluhisarcikli said. Turkey's third president, Celal Bayar, was also a member of the Democrat Party.

"I will nominate Erdogan as the candidate chairman of the party at the May 21 extraordinary congress", Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said at the ceremony.

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.

Erdogan had to leave the party when he assumed the presidency three years ago.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to make Europe pay for "oppressing" and "humiliating" Turks, in rhetoric aimed at boosting the "Yes" camp ahead of Sunday's referendum on enhancing his powers.

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"From now on there is no option other than opening the chapters you have not yet opened. If you don't then goodbye!"

"Turkey is not their (the EU's) doorman", he added.

Critics fears the change will lead to a one-man authoritarian rule with too few checks and balances.

"First you have to handle these chapters and fulfill your promises".

Erdogan has said Turkey may hold a referendum on whether to continue with its membership efforts. Then we will sit at the table and talk. "Otherwise, we have nothing left to discuss with you", Erdoğan said.

Turkey's main opposition leader on Tuesday said "a chairman of a political party can not be a president of 80 million".

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