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Erdogan Reappointed Leader Of Turkey's Ruling AKP Party

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech in Istanbul on May 4.

Turkey's ruling party reappointed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as its leader at a gathering in Ankara on May 21.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) elected Erdogan, the only candidate, to replace Prime Minister Binali Yildirim as chairman.

Erdogan received more than 95 percent of the 1,470 votes.

"Rather than facing our people with our heads down tomorrow, we prefer to stand tall today against the scum at home and abroad," he told thousands of cheering supporters in the Ankara sports arena.

Erdogan, who founded the Islamist-rooted AKP in 2001 and led it to an election victory a year later, had to give up its leadership three years ago when he was elected president, a position traditionally above party politics.

But that changed with the April 16 referendum in which Turks narrowly backed constitutional changes creating an executive presidency with sweeping new powers.

Allowing the head of state to be a party member or leader was among the reforms.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP