Click photo to enlarge
In this photo released by the Turkish Presidency Press Office, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, right, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speak during a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, June 29, 2014. Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party is expected to announce Erdogan as their candidate to run in presidential elections in August against senior Turkish diplomat professor Ekmeleddin Mehmet Ihsanoglu, the former Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. (AP Photo/Ayhan Arfat, Turkish Presidency Press Office, HO)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party is widely expected to nominate him as a candidate for the country's first directly elected presidential race. The move could keep him at Turkey's helm for at least five more years.

Erdogan has been power since 2003 and is barred by party rules from running as prime minister again. His candidacy is expected to be announced at a party meeting on Tuesday.

Although the Turkish presidency is largely symbolic post, Erdogan has said he favors a system that gives the president more powers. He has suggested that if elected, he would fully use latent presidential powers, including the right to call Cabinet meetings.

The two-round elections are set for Aug. 10 and 24. President Abdullah Gul's term ends Aug. 28.


Follow Butler and Fraser at and