President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) provincial leaders Thursday that his movement wanted to capture opposition-held municipalities, starting with Istanbul and Ankara, in the March 2024 local elections.
As we witnessed one of the most significant elections on the centennial of the Turkish Republic’s founding, Insight Turkey proudly presents a special issue that meticulously evaluates the elections and examines how Türkiye’s foreign policy will be shaped in their aftermath and we hope and believe that the insightful and stimulating debates raised on the issue will be helpful to our readers.
Erdoğan has a respectable track record. In addition to the 1994 mayoral race in Istanbul, he has won 16 popular contests (including several constitutional referendums) since 2002. In May 2023, after 21 years in power, the Turkish leader achieved a parliamentary majority with the People’s Alliance and received the Turkish people’s permission to serve five more years as president.
With Türkiye’s transition to a presidential system in April 2017, after a historic referendum that saw 51.4% of the votes cast in favor of the new system, political parties in Türkiye immediately began to adapt to the new system. The presidential system, which requires candidates to win an absolute majority of first-round votes, forged pre-election alliances. It became clear to all opposition parties, led by the Republican People’s Party (CHP), that on their own they could not defeat Erdoğan or the AK Party (Justice and Development Party) under Erdoğan’s leadership?
Türkiye faced a historic election on May 14. In accordance with the presidential government system, both the presidential election and the 28th-term parliamentary general election were held on the same day. According to the results announced by the Supreme Election Council (YSK), the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which received 35.6% of the votes and 268 deputies, finished ahead in the general election. All four parties of the People’s Alliance, with a total of 322 deputies, received 49.4% of the vote, outperforming the Nation Alliance by about 15 points. Thus, the will to represent the nation in Parliament until 2028 has been finalized.