Putin congratulates ErdoIan for AK Party’s ‘election success’

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday phoned his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to congratulate him on what he called the election victory of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
The move, in diplomatic terms, is unconventional, given that it is Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu, not Erdogan, who chairs the AK Party. Erdogan co-founded and led the party for more than a decade until he was elected president in August 2014, but he now has no formal links to the party as per constitutional norms requiring the president to be politically impartial.
Erdogan fervently campaigned for a parliamentary majority for the AK Party strong enough to press for constitutional changes that would boost the executive powers of the presidency, although he did not openly name the AK Party when holding speeches at rallies across the country prior to the election.
A statement published on the Kremlinand’s website said Putin congratulated Erdogan on the AK Partyand’s victory in Turkeyand’s parliamentary election on June 7. The phone call in which the congratulations occurred was initiated by the Russian side, according to the statement.
and”The two presidents discussed current bilateral relations, issues related to big joint projects in the energy sector, and preparations for the sixth meeting of the High Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council, which will take place in Kazan in the fourth quarter of 2015,and” it said, adding that the two leaders agreed to continue and”their frequent personal contacts.and”
The AK Party won about 41 percent of the vote in Sundayand’s parliamentary election, leading in the polls by a wide margin but losing the parliamentary majority for the first time since it first came to power in 2002. The AK Party won 49 percent of the vote in the previous parliamentary election in 2011.
Both Erdogan and Putin have dominated politics in their countries for more than a decade, serving as both prime minister and president. Putin was elected president in 2012 after two terms as prime minister and a previous term as president.
Putinand’s congratulatory call to Erdogan on the AK Partyand’s gaining the majority of the peopleand’s votes drew criticism from other political parties, including the Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Gandursel Tekin, secretary-general of the CHP, which was the main opposition party, said the call shows that it is not only the opposition which claims Erdogan is not as impartial as he is supposed to be as per the Constitution.
and”We are not the only ones who claim the president is not impartial despite the position he is holding. Everyone is aware of that. If not, doesnand’t Putin know who to call? Even Mr. Erdoganand’s friend understands that Mr. Erdogan sees himself as the leader of the AK Party, not as the president. He [Putin] calls the president for the election result that the AK Party recorded,and” Gandursel said, and added, and”Even Putin doesnand’t see you as a point to stop at [and congratulate], Mr. Davutoilu.and”
MHP deputy Oktay Vural defined the phone call from Putin as and”diplomatically unfortunate,and” saying someone has to remind Putin that Turkey is not governed by a presidential system but by a parliamentary one.
and”He is supposed to wish that he recover soon, not congratulate [him],and” Vural concluded. and”Moreover, according to Turkeyand’s system, the addressee on energy issues is not the president but the government, the prime minister. Someone has to tell Putin these things,and” Vural said.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman