Turkey election: A guide to Erdogan’s biggest test at the polls | Politics News


Will the Might 14 elections finish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 20-year stranglehold on Turkey?

Hundreds of thousands will head to the polls subsequent week to vote in Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections, which observers count on will present the hardest check of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 20-year interval because the nation’s chief.

The nation’s struggling financial system has dealt a blow to Erdogan, whereas his rivals, capitalising on the panic, have promised to enhance situations. However Erdogan and his Justice and Improvement Celebration (AKP) nonetheless have robust help amongst giant swaths of nationalists, and non secular conservatives, notably in Turkey’s Anatolian heartland, who see an opposition victory as a return to an period the place they felt downtrodden.

Right here’s a rundown of every part you could know:

When is Turkey’s election?

  • Presidential and parliamentary elections are held on the identical day each 5 years. This 12 months, the elections had initially been scheduled for June 18 however had been introduced ahead to Might 14.

How does Turkey’s electoral system work?

  • In July 2018, Turkey transitioned from a parliamentary system to a presidential one. Within the new system, voters elect the president straight and the function of prime minister has been abolished.
  • A candidate wants greater than half of the presidential vote to win. Nonetheless, if nobody reaches the 50 p.c mark, the highest two candidates will go face to face in a run-off vote two weeks later.
  • Voters will even elect 600 Grand Nationwide Meeting, because the Turkish parliament is understood, members by means of a system of proportional illustration, selecting a celebration checklist of their district.
(Al Jazeera)

Who’re the candidates and what are they promising?

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 69

  • The incumbent is working for the Folks’s Alliance, a coalition of his AK Celebration and a number of other right-wing events.
  • Throughout his 20-year rule, Erdogan was prime minister for 11 years, earlier than turning into president in 2014.
  • Led Turkey’s financial and institutional transformation within the 2000s and early 2010s. This has left Erdogan with lots of goodwill from supporters, who say their lives have improved. He’s additionally seen as strengthening Turkey on the worldwide stage, and rising the nation’s affect.
  • However the nation’s struggling financial system over the previous 18 months has eroded his reputation.
  • He has been accused of cracking down on opposition teams, though authorities supporters stated the strikes had been mandatory following a 2016 coup try and the menace from “terrorist” teams.
  • Guarantees: Continuation of the presidential system, decrease rates of interest, and a powerful, impartial Turkey with affect throughout the broader area.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, 74

  • Erdogan’s principal challenger and the candidate for the six opposition events of the Nation Alliance.
  • Defines himself as a “democrat” and is understood for anti-corruption rhetoric, however is accused by detractors of being too near the West.
  • Kilicdaroglu has led the centre-left Republican Folks’s Celebration (CHP) for greater than a decade of election defeats.
  • Critics say these election defeats present that he’s not robust sufficient to defeat Erdogan and lead Turkey. A number one member of his personal alliance, the top of the nationalist Iyi Celebration Meral Aksener, initially rejected Kilicdaroglu’s candidacy in March, earlier than reversing her place.
  • Earlier than politics, he was a finance ministry specialist after which chaired Turkey’s Social Insurance coverage Establishment for many of the Nineteen Nineties.
  • Guarantees: return to a “robust parliamentary system”, fixing the Kurdish challenge, sending Syrian refugees again residence, and transferring nearer to the European Union and america.

Muharrem Ince, 58

  • The Homeland Celebration candidate – the one contender with out an alliance backing him – manufacturers his motion because the “third means”.
  • Former CHP deputy and occasion candidate for the 2018 election, the place he got here second. He later break up from the occasion, which he’s crucial of.
  • Ince says Turkish social democrats and secular nationalists ought to unite in opposition to “Islamist” political events.
  • His confrontational method has led to scraps with journalists, and Kilicdaroglu supporters imagine he takes away help from their candidate and serving to Erdogan.
  • Guarantees: sending refugees again to their residence nations and “restoring” secularism in Turkey.

Sinan Ogan, 55

  • Candidate of the nationalist Ancestral Alliance (ATA) of three events.
  • Ogan has a tutorial and worldwide finance improvement background.
  • Former member of the Nationalist Motion Celebration (MHP), an ally of the Erdogan-led AK Celebration.
  • As an MHP candidate, he was elected because the deputy for Igdır, a metropolis in jap Turkey, in 2011 and expelled from the occasion in 2015 for inner opposition.
  • He has been accused of getting xenophobic and far-right insurance policies, notably in terms of Syrian refugees.
  • Guarantees: sending refugees again to their residence nations and supporting the unity of Turkic states.
Interative_Turkey_elections_2023_5_Political party barometer
(Al Jazeera)

What are the important thing election points?

Economic system

  • Rate of interest cuts sparked a forex disaster in late 2021, sending inflation to a 24-year peak of 85.51 p.c final 12 months.
  • However Erdogan’s supporters say he has revolutionised Turkey’s financial system, constructed infrastructure, and developed areas historically ignored by the central Turkish authorities.


  • Two huge earthquakes that hit southeast Turkey on February 6 left greater than 50,000 individuals lifeless and widespread destruction – reconstruction is anticipated to price billions of {dollars}.
  • An estimated 14 million individuals – 16 p.c of the inhabitants – had been affected by the earthquakes.

Mind drain

  • An rising variety of the nation’s educated and extremely expert individuals are leaving the nation for political and financial issues.
  • In keeping with the Turkish Statistical Establishment, 286,000 individuals aged between 20 and 29 left Turkey between 2019 and 2021.

Values and id

  • Erdogan, as prime minister, lifted the ban on ladies who put on the hijab working within the public sector in 2013, a transfer hailed by many as a validation of their place in society and their non secular observance.
  • The CHP had beforehand backed the hijab ban and Erdogan says it could be reinstated – together with all of the erasure of id that represents – if he had been to lose, as a part of different measures that might threaten the values of the AKP supporter base.


  • Erdogan’s detractors accuse him of reversing democratic beneficial properties in Turkey, notably following the 2016 failed coup try, which noticed 1000’s arrested.
  • Critics additionally say that freedom of the press has deteriorated, with 90 p.c of all Turkish media retailers underneath the management of Erdogan’s authorities and businessmen near him.


  • Anti-refugee sentiment is rising, with rising reports of violence, abuse and crime between Syrian and Turkish communities.
  • In keeping with the federal government, some 3.7 million of the whole 5.5 million foreigners in Turkey are Syrian refugees. The federal government has been praised internationally for its refugee coverage, however opposition candidates have been taking part in on rising hostility in direction of refugees.

Interative_Turkey_elections_2023_5_Election issues revised

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