Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets the crowd after attending AK Party's 6th ordinary provincial congress in western Izmir province, Turkey on April 28, 2018. - AFP PHOTO / TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE
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Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan unofficially kicked off his re-election campaign Saturday, vowing to defeat the secularist opposition in "historic" snap elections that he has called for June.If Erdogan wins -- as seems likely as the AK Party has formed an election alliance with the national opposition party MHP -- he will return to the presidency with new sweeping executive powers that were narrowly approved by referendum last year.The sudden election announcement surprised opposition parties, leaving them yet to nominate presidential candidates.Erdogan has won nearly a dozen elections and dominated Turkish politics since the Islamist-rooted AK party swept to power in 2002 .
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