Path to more economic independence in Türkiye

The goal, of course, is to come up with some policy suggestions, provide a fresh perspective and sift out a road map for the post-election period. After all, Türkiye is, indeed, treading a fine line between liberal and interventionist policies. Yet, it has not yet been able to fully benefit from political stability and the transformation into a presidential system.

Path to more economic independence in Türkiye
The People s Alliance Ahead of the May 14 2023

The People’s Alliance Ahead of the May 14, 2023 Elections

The People’s Alliance’s senior members, the AK Party and the MHP, have worked together seamlessly since the very beginning. They did not allow crises to erupt ahead of the 2023 elections either. In this sense, the People’s Alliance demonstrated unity – whereas the Nation Alliance was bogged down in internal strife. It is possible to argue that the ruling alliance could signal unity mainly due to its perception by the electorate as a sincere and straightforward group. Specifically, the People’s Alliance did not pursue short-term interests or signal its intention to change its course when it could negotiate from a position of strength. Another contributing factor was the complete agreement between the AK Party and the MHP on the ‘presidency’ system of government. Whereas the Nation Alliance pledged to adopt an ‘augmented’ parliamentary system, Erdoğan and Bahçeli insisted that Türkiye must not drift away from its current political system. Accordingly, one might argue that the People’s Alliance shall remain intact unless one of those two movements changes its mind about the presidential system. That is obviously not the only factor, yet there is reason to believe that the AK Party and the MHP will continue to collaborate as long as the former’s policies and vision for the future appeal to the partner.


In 2023, Türkiye will celebrate the centennial of the establishment of the republic and will also hold a crucial election. The 2023 elections are one of the most important in Türkiye’s history. Four main topics will determine the fate of the elections: refugees, the economy, rising nationalism, and the Kurdish question. There are serious differences of opinion between the government and opposition blocs regarding the solution to these problems. Concerning refugee policies, Türkiye is still the country hosting the highest number of displaced persons under temporary protection in the world. While policies against immigrants are rising all over the world, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has adopted a humanitarian approach in terms of refugee policies. Erdoğan has also used his power of persuasion in society in terms of solving economic problems. In many parts of the world, the combination of refugees and economic problems manifested itself in the form of reactionary nationalism. Erdoğan, on the other hand, used nationalist rhetoric in an integrative way, blending the concepts of native (yerli) and national (milli). Although the opposition has not demonstrated a clear approach to these issues, it positioned itself directly opposite Erdoğan. Likewise, recently, a new approach has been adopted in terms of the solution to the Kurdish question, apart from the PKK. The 2023 elections will show which of the approaches of the government or the opposition wings coincide with Turkish society’s expectations.

This article analyzes the approaches of the two major electoral alliances set to compete in the upcoming elections, instead of focusing on each political party’s proposed system of government separately.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on Tuesday unveiled its election manifesto titled “The Right Steps for the Century of Türkiye.” The 481-page text, which the party painstakingly thought out, comprises six chapters and attaches importance to future projects, ways to improve living standards, and pursuing ambitious goals in foreign policy and national security.

We are confident that this issue of Insight Turkey entitled “Türkiye at the Crossroads: The 2023 Election” will addresses some of the issues that have been dominating the political agenda lately in Türkiye and we hope and believe that the insightful and stimulating debates raised on the issue will be helpful to our readers.

Turkish opposition's ideological mobilization ahead of elections

The 2023 presidential election in Türkiye, which will pit the presidential candidates of two major alliances against each other, created a state of great intellectual and ideological mobilization. With the distinction between “us” and “them” forming the backbone of politics, polarization becomes inevitable. Indeed, polarization becomes more intense and widespread due to the presidential system giving rise to alliances and the Nation Alliance uniting around "anti-Erdoğanism" after two decades.

Turkish opposition's ideological mobilization ahead of elections
Table for six plus two mayors An unimaginable 'coalition'

Table for six plus two mayors: An unimaginable 'coalition'

The opposition leaders charge President Erdoğan with instituting ‘one-man rule’ but their solution is unimaginable. Nowhere in the world has political power been shared by eight parties


The 'table for six' cannot seem to stop being a coalition of unrelated parties no matter how many times they meet or how many documents they unveil

The joint statement of the 'table for six' suggests that an extremely aggressive campaign is in the making

Ahead of the May 2023 elections in Türkiye, the Western media launched a campaign to “unite the opposition to get rid of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.” In recent months, anti-Turkish and anti-Erdoğan articles have appeared more and more frequently in United States and European publications.

The level of ambiguity seems to increase as that debate continues, mainly because the Turkish opposition bloc, known as the 'table for six,' is in a challenging and contradictory pursuit

In a world of great power competition and uncertainty, President Erdoğan asking for support 'one last time' is a message that would catch the electorate’s attention

The budget talks at Parliament have been so intense that they overshadowed the rivalry between the government and the opposition’s vision documents. Speaking at Parliament, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairperson Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu escalated tensions, leading to a fist fight among parliamentarians.

The 'table for six' made a proposal that threatens to create a fragmented system of political parties, fuel conflict within the executive branch, start a tug-of-war between the executive and legislative branches, and usher in a period of coalition governments

Issues show that the Good Party remains most vulnerable to internal and external maneuvering by the two alliances. Indeed, that movement is at the heart of identity politics and ideological faultlines, too. Until now, Akşener has not surfed successfully on those faultlines – which will become shakier as the election draws near.

'It is perfectly understandable that the AK Party, which oversaw major transformations from identity initiatives to the defense industry, has been at the heart of a heated debate for 12 years'

The pressure keeps mounting on Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairperson, with just seven months left until next year’s elections in Türkiye.

The opposition bloc is unable to present a feasible alternative for governing Türkiye despite considering themselves as the opposite of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party)

On the July 15 resistance’s sixth anniversary, the Turkish people commemorated that night. It is our civic duty to keep alive the 'political consciousness' that opposed the coup, the occupation, civil war and chaos that night. To tell that epic story to future generations is to repay one’s debt to this country and the nation.

Needless to say, the election is just 11 months away and the People’s Alliance does a better job at highlighting the various contradictions of the “table for six.” Following in Erdoğan’s footsteps, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairperson Devlet Bahçeli has been criticizing the profile of the opposition’s potential candidate.