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HomeEconomyExplainer-Turkey election 2023: What's at stake in the runoff?

Explainer-Turkey election 2023: What's at stake in the runoff?

(Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan intends to extend his rule to a third decade in Sunday’s election, after the first round of voting showed him ahead of his challenger After Kemal Kemal, his momentum in the runoff vote favored Kilidaroglu in his favor.

Already emboldened by the parliamentary majority won by his Islamist-rooted AK Party and its allies in May 35, El Dogan got another boost from Monday’s rally thanks to the support of a nationalist politician who finished third in the first round of voting.

The election will determine not only who leads Turkey, but how it is governed, the direction of its economy and the shape of its foreign policy. Kilidaroglu, backed by another far-right leader, is backed by a six-party coalition that includes his Republican People’s Party (CHP).

Erdogan, Turkey’s longest-serving leader in modern times, supports religious piety and low domestic interest rates, while asserting Turkish influence in the region and loosening the NATO member’s ties with the West.

Elections are held three months after the earthquake in southeastern Turkey killed more than

,000 people.

Turkey’s stake…

Since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the modern The most powerful leader since the Turkish Republic, Erdogan and his AK Party have moved Turkey away from Ataturk’s secular blueprint.

Erdogan also centralizes power around the executive president, located in the 1, room palace on the edge of Ankara, responsible for Shaping Turkey’s economy, security, domestic policy

Erdogan’s critics say his government suppresses dissent, erodes rights, and controls the judiciary, an allegation officials deny, saying the government is Unique security protects citizens from threats including 2016 coup attempts.

Erdogan’s call for low interest rates sent inflation soaring to 14 year highs, economists say 85%, while the lira has fallen to a tenth of its value against the dollar in the past decade.

…and the rest of the world?

Under Erdogan, Turkey has deployed military force in the Middle East and beyond, invading Syria four times, launching an offensive against Kurdish militants in Iraq, and launching an attack on Libya and Azerbaijan for military support.

Turkey has also been involved in a series of diplomatic clashes with regional powers Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Israel, as well as a standoff with Greece and Cyprus over maritime borders in the Eastern Mediterranean until two years It has since changed tack and sought settlements with some rivals.

Erdogan’s purchase of a Russian air defense system triggered sanctions on Ankara by the U.S. arms industry, while his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin led critics to question Turkey’s commitment to NATO’s Western defense Alliance commitment. Tensions have also been heightened by Ankara’s opposition to Sweden’s and Finland’s bids to join NATO.

However, Turkey also brokered a Ukrainian wheat export deal, underscoring Erdogan’s possible role in efforts to end the war in Ukraine. It is unclear whether a successor will enjoy his The same image he created on the world stage, a point he made on the campaign trail.

What hope does the opposition have?

The two main opposition parties, the secularist CHP and the centre-right nationalist IYI party, are joining forces with four smaller Political parties align.

They have promised to restore the independence of the central bank and reverse Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policies. They would also abolish his executive presidency in favor of the former parliamentary system and repatriate Syrian refugees.

They also aim to improve relations with Western allies including the US and send Turkey back to the US for F-35 fighter jets plan, blocked after the purchase of a Russian missile defense system.

Analysts believe that the policies promised by the opposition can stimulate foreign investment.

Erdogan backed a failed effort to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while hosting at least 3.6 million Syrian refugees who have become increasingly out of touch during Turkey’s difficult economic times. welcome.

Seeking support from nationalist voters, Kilicdaroglu has stepped up his anti-immigration tone over the past two weeks, promising to deport immigrants.

How big is the gap between the games?

Kilicdaroglu won 44.9% vs. 44 in the first round. 5% backed Erdogan, reflecting solid support despite a severe cost of living crisis and opinion polls showing Kilicdaroglu in the lead. Pollsters later pointed to an unexpected surge in nationalist support at the ballot box to explain the results.

Erdogan said the vote for him would ensure stability after his coalition secured a parliamentary majority.


Turkey’s four-year conflict with the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the role of mainstream Kurdish parties have become a factor in the election campaign.

While not part of the opposition coalition, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has strongly opposed Erdogan after cracking down on its members in recent years, and supports Kilicdaroglu.

Erdogan’s attacks on Kilicdaroglu include accusations without evidence that he won the support of the PKK, which has been in power since 1980s A rebellion was launched in which more than 44, people were killed. Kilicdaroglu has denied the allegations.



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