Erdogan expects Turkey’s development level to reach the levels of Russia, US

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionTurkey's economy is the biggest election issue This is the story of farmer Metin Celik

He was speaking at a rally in Istanbul on Saturday in the run-up to the early presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled to be held on Sunday.

The 64-year-old Erdogan called the elections more than a year ahead of schedule in a bid to usher in an executive presidency with sweeping powers.

A constitutional referendum backed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in April 2017 agreed changes expanding the powers of the Turkish president, most of which will come into effect after these elections.presidential and parliamentary elections are also now being held simultaneously. If a candidate wins just over 50 percent of the vote, he will win the presidency, but if not, there will be a runoff on July 8.

"Turkey will reach their level of development too and will be among the top ten countries in this respect", Erdogan said.

Experts said the lira depreciation, higher unemployment rate and inflation rate, all those symptoms of a sluggish economy had become a heavy burden on Mr Erdogan. Erdogan's main opponent, Muharrem Ince, nominated by the secular Republican People's Party, drew hundreds of thousands of supporters to a rally on Saturday in Istanbul.

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But he reckoned without Muharrem Ince, the presidential candidate of the secularist Republican People's Party (CHP), whose feisty performance at campaign rallies has galvanised Turkey's long-demoralised and divided opposition.

"If the HDP fails to get into parliament, all Turkey will lose".

Erdogan has at times seemed on the defensive, making promises to lift the state of emergency imposed after the coup bid and ensuring the 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey go home only after similar pledges by Ince. If the party passes the threshold, it could cost the "People Alliance" dozens of seats.

But in a situation labelled as blatant unfairness by activists, the HDP's presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas has campaigned from a prison cell after his November 2016 arrest on charges of links to outlawed Kurdish militants.

A worker slices meat as a reflection of a portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen in the window of a Turkish restaurant in Istanbul's Taksim Square on June 20, 2018. Critics say it will further erode democracy in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member state and entrench one-man rule.

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