Turkish PM Salutes Bulgarian Counterpart in Reelection EveDiplomacy | October 1, 2012, Monday // 13:03| views
Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, secured AKP leadership for three more years without any competition in the vote. Photo by BGNES
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been re-elected late Sunday for the third time as leader of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, has been the only guest from Bulgaria at the official dinner in Ankara, held in the eve of the Islamic-rooted party's Congress.
Erdogan had sent through Tsvetanov greetings to his Bulgarian counterpart, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, the Bulgarian Standard daily writes Monday.
Members of Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, have been guests of the Congress, but have not been invited to the dinner, according to Standard. The DPS delegation has been led by the party's Deputy Chair, Lyutvi Mestan, and included the other Deputy Head, Rushen Riza and DPS MEP, Metin Kazak. Kasim Dal, who was expelled from DPS, and is now ready to launch his own party, has also been invited for the Congress.
Erdogan, who secured AKP leadership for three more years, faced no competition in the vote. This, however, is his last congress as PM and party leader as AKP bylaws set a limit of three consecutive terms.
In his keynote address, at times interrupted by rounds of applause, Erdogan stated that service was more important than titles, which many interpreted as a confirmation he is set to run for the President of Turkey in 2014.
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