Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decision to call for snap elections on June 24 is of direct outcome to Greece, more than at any other time, as the Turkish president increasingly espouses a nationalist stance and invests in the political gains this brings him. Last year, he narrowly won a referendum to change the constitution and create an executive presidency, which will come into effect with the next presidential vote.
The presidential and parliamentary elections will take place under a state of emergency that has been in place since an attempted coup in July 2016.
But Erdogan's military incursions into Syria, where Turkey is battling Kurdish fighters, have boosted his popularity, and analysts said the president hopes to ride that wave of support to an election victory. The decision follows consultations between Erdogan and political ally Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party. Later in the day, Bulent Tezcan, the deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People's Party, called for the state of emergency to be lifted immediately because of the snap elections.
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Rumors of snap elections have been in the air for some time, though both Erdogan and members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) were adamant about sticking to the previously scheduled date of November 2019.
CHP spokesman Bulent Tezcan said: "There can not be an election under emergency rule".
On April 16, 2017, Turkey held a referendum during which the majority of voters pronounced themselves in favor of an 18-article bill switching a parliamentary system into a presidential one.
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The UN last month called for an end to the emergency and accused Ankara of mass arrests, arbitrary sacking and other abuses. "The malaise of the old system can be seen in every step we take".
The European Union, which Turkey seeks to join, says the country is backsliding on bringing its laws in line with EU standards and has called for the country to lift its state of emergency. The decrees have allowed the government to close down media outlets and non-governmental organizations. Last month, a United Nations report concluded that Turkey's state of emergency had led to human rights violations, including arbitrary detentions and dismissals, torture and ill-treatment.
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