Turkey's March 30 polls have gone beyond local elections after recent developments and have become a matter of securing gains made in the past 12 years, the country's foreign minister has said, Anadolu Agency reported.
Ahmet Davutoglu addressed a ruling AK Party rally in the central Turkish province of Konya on Friday, nine days ahead of nationwide local elections.
He criticized opposition parties and the "parallel state" - the name given by the government to an alleged shadow structure nestled within the country's police and judiciary.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused this network of being led by U.S.-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen.
"March 30 elections have gone beyond local elections after the recent developments in Turkey and it has become a matter of securing gains in the past 12 years," Davutoglu said.
"The elections are important not only to Turkey but also to the oppressed who seek hope from these lands."