Turkey PM vows to strengthen presidency as kicks off campaign

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) waves to members of the ruling Justice and Development Party at a ceremony in Ankara on July 1, 2014 for the announcement of the AKP's candidate for the country's first direct presidential electionTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan kicked off his presidential campaign on Saturday by promising to transform the role into a more powerful position if he wins the August polls. A boisterous crowd of supporters from his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) cheered, called Erdogan’s name and waved Turkish and party flags under the pouring rain. The 60-year-old leader made clear on Saturday that he would transform the largely ceremonial post held by Abdullah Gul into a more powerful position. His address was often interrupted by supporters shouting slogans like “Turkey is proud of you!”

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