ANKARA 

The Turkish president on Thursday stressed the significance of the upcoming 2023 presidential elections for the country to be listed among the most powerful countries globally.

Speaking at his Justice and Development (AK) Party’s extended meeting of provincial heads, Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on all party members to start preparing for the elections.

“We have about two years before the elections. I want you to seize every day and every moment of this time in the most efficient way,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan said all members of the AK Party should go out there and meet people, listen to them and their problems and prepare for elections on the field.

The Turkish president last week denied the rumors of early elections and efforts to promote early polls and said Turkey’s next general elections will be held in 2023, as scheduled.

Erdogan also hailed Turkey’s successful anti-terror operations within the country and abroad against terror groups YPG/PKK and Daesh/ISIS.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

In 2013, Turkey became one of the first countries to declare Daesh/ISIS a terrorist organization.

The country has since been attacked by the terror group multiple times, with over 300 people killed and hundreds more injured in at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks, and four armed assaults.

In response, Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks.

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