Tens of millions of Turks went to the polls and cast their votes last Sunday to choose the next president and the 600-seat Parliament. Over 30 political parties and five multiparty political coalitions (the People’s Alliance, the Nation Alliance, the ATA Alliance, the Labor and Freedom Alliance, and the Union of Socialist Forces Alliance) competed in the elections. At first, there were four official candidates, namely, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Sinan Oğan and Muharrem Ince. However, after the withdrawal of Ince, only three of them competed for the Presidency.
Everyone seems to agree that Türkiye will make a “critically important choice at a historic crossroads” on May 14. That makes us expect an election campaign where each candidate and their parties will speak their truths. Do not be fooled by the ongoing calmness, as electoral alliances have been trying to expand and negotiate candidate lists in the month of Ramadan.
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.
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
GP Chair Davutoğlu and DEVA Chair Babacan, the 'engineers' of the 'table for six' who face harsh criticism, work very hard to ensure the success of a political initiative that would lead to main opposition CHP’s domination