Izmir (Turkey), Apr 29 (ANI): Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan unofficially kicked off his re-election campaign vowing to defeat the secularist opposition in “historic” snap elections that he has called for June. Although yet to formally declare his candidacy, Erdogan held what was effectively his first campaign rally in the coastal city of Izmir, the stronghold of the secular CHP opposition party, promising thousands of flag-waving supporters’ victory in the presidential and parliamentary polls. Erdogan last week called elections more than a year earlier than scheduled as he said Turkey needed a more powerful presidency to confront economic challenges and the war in Syria. The sudden election announcement surprised opposition parties, leaving them yet to nominate presidential candidates. Former president Abdullah Gul, one of the founding members of the AK Party, said he would not be a candidate, ending weeks of speculation.