Baku. 2 May. REPORT.AZ/ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrived at the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) headquarter in the capital to rejoin the party after 979 days, following the constitutional reform referendum which enables him to be affiliated with a political party.
Report informs citing the Anadolu, he has signed a membership form to rejoin the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on May 2 and made a speech at the faction of the Turkish Grand National Assembly.
It marked a first in Turkish politics as the head of state is able to formally retain links with a political party in line with recently approved constitutional changes.
Erdoğan had chaired the AKP for 13 years from 2001 but had to step aside when he was elected president in August 2014, as the constitution prevented presidents from being affiliated with a political party on the grounds of the impartiality of the president. He was replaced first by former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and then Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.
Yıldırım will leave the chairmanship of the AKP just before May 21 and the party will elect Erdoğan as the new chair. The constitutional amendment that was approved by the April 16 referendum paves the way for the president to retain membership of a party, as the amendment removed the provision blocking the party affiliation.
Notably, until May 27, 1960, the president of Turkey was allowed to be in the party's membership. According to the new Constitution adopted in 1961, there was an article not allowing president of the country to have a party affiliation. In the main law of the country adopted in 1982 this article retained.
The first president of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was president and chairman of the party at the same time.