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Turkey's Erdogan declares early elections on June 24



Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called snap elections for June 24, saying economic challenges and the war in Syria meant his country must switch quickly to the powerful executive presidency that comes into effect with the new vote.

The presidential and parliamentary elections will take place under a state of emergency that has been in place since a July 2016 attempted coup and was extended by parliament on Wednesday for another three months.

In 15 years of rule as prime minister and then president, Erdogan has transformed a poor, sprawling country at the eastern edge of Europe into a major emerging market. 

Yet Turkey's rapid economic growth has also come with increased authoritarianism, with Erdogan accelerating a security crackdown since the failed coup in which tens of thousands have been arrested. 

Last year he narrowly won a referendum to change the constitution and create the executive presidency, which will come into effect with the next presidential vote.

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