'Turkey's anti-terror fight to continue post-election'

By Hizir Hacisalihoglu

SAMSUN, Turkey (AA) – Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader said Tuesday the country will continue fighting terrorism following the early elections.

“Turkey should not have any accidents over our stance on Manbij, our courage in Afrin, our attitude on al-Bab, our grandness in Qandil,” Devlet Bahceli said, during his party’s election rally in the Black Sea province of Samsun.

Bahceli was referring to Turkey’s anti-terror operations in northern Syria and Iraq.

“[Turkey] should keep going on after June 24 with more power,” Bahceli added.

On Monday, the Turkish army announced the start of patrols in Manbij by Turkish and U.S. troops in line with a previously agreed-upon roadmap for eliminating terrorists and stabilizing the area.

In a tweet, the Turkish Armed Forces said patrols were being carried out between Manbij and the area liberated by Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield.

The roadmap was first announced after a June 3 meeting in Washington between Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The deal focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the northern Syrian city and stability in the region.

– ‘Erdogan to be elected in first round’

Bahceli also said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be re-elected as president at the first round of elections.

Bahceli’s MHP and Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party will enter the election race as the People's Alliance for the first time in Turkish history.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), newly formed Good (IYI) Party, Felicity (Saadet) Party, and Democrat Party (DP) will participate as the Nation Alliance.

This April, parliament passed a bill for early elections on June 24, cementing Turkey’s move to a presidential system.

In an April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters approved the switch from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.