Turkey's ruling party has announced that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will run for president in elections in August.
The deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Mehmet Ali Sahin, announced Erdogan's widely expected candidacy to loud applause from party members at a meeting in the capital, Ankara.
Erdogan -- who has served for 11 years as prime minister -- remains hugely popular, despite a graft scandal he has blamed on traitors and terrorists.
Erdogan has presided over Turkey's economic ascent but has also provoked outrage for the increasingly authoritarian tack he has taken recently.
Erdogan is barred by party rules from running as prime minister again.
President Abdullah Gul, whose term ends August 28, has said he will not seek reelection.
Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP