The Turkish defense minister has said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could win the upcoming August presidential elections with 90 percent of the votes through "good work" during the campaign Hurriyet Daily News reported
"This government has given self-esteem to the people. Our people are grateful and loyal. Hopefully [Erdogan will win] with 90 percent of the votes, if we work well," said Defense Minister İsmet Yilmaz, after a fast-breaking event in the Central Anatolian city of Sivas on July 7.
"Erdogan [becoming president] means a member of each family being there," said Yilmaz, claiming that incumbent President Abdullah Gul's predecessor, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, did not represent "the people."
Yilmaz dismissed the chances of Ekmeleddin İhsanoglu, the joint candidate of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), of winning the electoral race.
"Nobody believes it. Everyone asks who is going to replace Erdogan when he becomes president. Even this question shows how clear the presidency is for the people" he said.
Three candidates - Erdogan, İhsanoglu and Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas - have announced their candidacy for Turkey's first ever presidential election through popular vote. The election will be held in two rounds, with the first on Aug. 10, and if no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a second round will be held on Aug. 24.