On May 14, Turkey will hold elections for its national parliament and president. And it might be a turning point in the country’s present political landscape. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been in charge of the country for the past two decades, and with a big mandate from the people.
He was a very popular leader among both conservatives and liberals, and he enjoyed support from individuals on all sides of the political spectrum. However, the current scenario now does not reflect his popularity in 2003, and Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) will have a difficult challenge in the upcoming election.
The country is deeply divided, and elections are coming up, which could be Erdoğan’s biggest test yet as several left and progressive forces have decided to join forces to defeat Erdoğan and his right-wing AKP.
The opposition parties have united behind one candidate, Centrist politician Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP). He is the joint presidential candidate of the alliance of six major opposition parties with mixed ideological positions.
While these political parties may differ in their ideologies, they are united in their mission to oust President Erdoğan from power. And they are gunning for a “big fight” with the agenda of rising poverty, crushing inflation, and painful injustice that are ravaging the country.
The people of Turkey have grown increasingly frustrated with the current administration, and their mounting anti-incumbency sentiment has created an opportune moment for the opposition. The opposition parties are poised to capitalize on this sentiment and channel it into a victory at the polls.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu might not be the most charismatic candidate to contest the popularity of Erdoğan, but he is the one that checks boxes in terms of getting the support of a wide cross-section of society and resonates with the masses.
Over the last decade, the opposition has worked tirelessly to accumulate an anti-incumbency sentiment among people which will be monumental in deciding the outcome of the elections.
Through a range of initiatives and campaigns, the opposition has worked to highlight the incumbent administration’s failures and shortcomings and underscore the urgent need for change. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, as more and more people across the country have become disillusioned with the current state of affairs.
But what are the choices left for the voters in Turkey? And why is the opposition looking stronger than ever?
The recent earthquakes that have devastated parts of Turkey have left the nation grappling with the aftermath of destruction and loss. The tragic loss of life and property has left many citizens reeling with anger and disbelief, as they struggle to come to terms with the enormity of the disaster.
The impact of this calamity will leave a lasting mark on the psyche of the people of Turkey and may play a defining role in the upcoming election. People will display their anger and frustration against corruption and mismanagement of the government during the polls.
As the Turkish people prepare to cast their votes on May 14th, the nation is abuzz with anticipation and speculation about the upcoming election. At the forefront of the contest is the presidential race, which will see incumbent president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan face off against Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition party.
These two candidates are expected to be the frontrunners in the race, and the outcome of the election will likely hinge on their performance. While Erdoğan has long been a dominant figure in Turkish politics, Kılıçdaroğlu has emerged as a formidable challenger, with a strong record of leadership and a clear vision for the future of the nation.
Despite their prominence, however, they are not the only candidates in the race. Muharrem Ince, who was the runner-up in the last presidential election in 2018, has decided to contest again, despite his party, the CHP, deciding on Kılıçdaroğlu this time. Additionally, Sinan Ogan is the candidate of an alliance of smaller nationalist parties and has thrown his hat into the ring in the hopes of shaking up the status quo.
It takes 50% of the vote plus one to win. Otherwise, it’ll go to a second round which will be held between the two leading contenders.
Parliamentary elections are held using a closed-party list and a proportional representation system. The country is divided into 87 electoral districts, with the number of seats determined by population. To obtain seats in parliament, a party or coalition must receive at least 7% of the national vote.
Three main coalitions will compete for a total of 600 seats in Turkey’s Grand National Assembly in these elections: the CHP-led Nation Alliance, the AKP-led People’s Alliance, and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP)-led Labor and Freedom Alliance. Parties in these combinations gained nearly all of the seats in the 2018 legislative elections.
There’s a consensus even among conservatives that there are problems right now, but the question they will be asking is, will the other guys going to provide a better alternative to Turkey?