Erdogan: “You will not take me away from these stages, you will not silence me.” AFP PHOTO / STR
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Turkey's general election looks likely to push Recep Tayyip Erdogan's dream of an all-powerful presidency further from his reach, and usher in a period of turbulence as its most divisive modern leader jockeys to maintain his dominance. Barred by the constitution from party politics as head of state, Erdogan has nonetheless campaigned across Turkey before the June 7 parliamentary vote in a sign of how much he has riding on the outcome.Constitutionally, most authority has lain with the Turkish prime minister, an office Erdogan held from 2003 to 2014 .The AKP is putting on a united face for the election next month, but his intrusion in what should be the prime minister's responsibilities – Erdogan has chaired several Cabinet meetings and gets involved in detailed government affairs – is already creating tensions.Erdogan blamed the "parallel state," a term he uses for the network of U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, a former ally who Erdogan says unlawfully exerts control over followers within institutions including the police and judiciary.
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