(c) 2017, Bloomberg · Firat Kozok, Benjamin Harvey · WORLD, MIDDLE-
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday took back control of the ruling party he founded, a step that gives the nation’s most powerful man additional authority to appoint loyalists to parliament lists and party posts across the nation.
Just a month after a vote approved transferring Turkey’s center of political power to the presidency from parliament, the AK Party’s leadership and tens of thousands of party faithful convened to anoint Erdogan at an extraordinary congress in Ankara. The referendum’s result allowed the president, until then constitutionally an impartial head of state, to be a member or leader of a political party.
Erdogan founded the AK Party in 2001 and was swept to power in an election the next year, winning almost two-thirds of the seats in parliament with just 34 percent of the vote.