Turkey to hold general election in May, one month ahead of schedule

Photo: Turkish Presidency Press Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey would hold elections on May 14, a month earlier than scheduled, setting up a tight test of his leadership after two decades in power. The president's office released video footage of Erdoğan announcing the date during a meeting with young voters in the northwestern province of Bursa the night before.

“I am grateful to God that we will be walking side by side with you, our first-time voting youth, in the elections that will be held on May 14,” Erdoğan told the group.

Opinion polls show the parliamentary and presidential elections will be tight and will mark Erdoğan’s biggest test in his two decades at the reins of the regional military power, NATO member and major emerging market economy.

Turkey's presidential and parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held on June 18 but President Erdoğan previously signalled that the vote could be brought forward. An official of his AK Party has previously said that an election in June would coincide with the summer holiday season when people are travelling.