Presidential candidate İnce challenges Erdoğan, calls for Demirtaş's release from jail

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"Some people may look for their presidential candidates by microscope, but we have already decided on our candidate".

Top Turkish political leaders on Friday filed paperwork for Recep Tayyip Erdogan to seek another term as president.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced the party's choice of Erdogan - also the AK Party chairman - at a parliamentary group meeting.

He ran as the sole challenger for party leadership against Kilicdaroglu in the last two CHP party elections.

Since the abortive putsch, authorities have carried out a sweeping crackdown on alleged supporters of the USA -based preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom Ankara blames for the coup attempt, detaining 160,000 people and dismissing almost the same number of civil servants, the United Nations said in March.

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Addressing a crowd in his hometown Yalova in northwestern Turkey on Saturday, Muharrem Ince said: "I declare here, I am giving instructions to members of the CHP, I request our citizens: go all of you and sing for [Meral] Aksener, [Temel] Karamollaoglu, [Dogu] Perincek and all others who want to be nominated [in the presidential election]".

Erdoğan said the vote, originally scheduled for November 2019, was moved up to accelerate Turkey's change from a primarily parliament system to one giving the president more executive authority.

Erdogan has served as president since 2014 - Turkey's first popularly elected president.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the IYI (Good) Party, the conservative Saadet Party (SP) and the Democrat Party (DP) formed the Alliance for the Nation to stand against the People's Alliance of Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

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