Turkey held the first round of its 2023 elections on May 14. Contrary to expectations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his "People's Alliance" outperformed their rivals.
After winning the first round, Erdoğan is favourite to win the presidential run-off on May 28. The incumbent fell short of an outright majority, but came very close with 49.5 per cent of the vote in the first round. His rival, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the opposition Nation Alliance, received 44.89 per cent of the vote. In parliament, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) remains the largest party despite losing votes - and the People's Alliance has a majority.
As the presidential candidate of a heterogeneous coalition of six parties from across the political spectrum, Kılıçdaroğlu's biggest challenge is to unite and mobilise the opposition behind his candidacy. The Labour and Freedom Alliance, which includes the pro-Kurdish Green and Left Party (YSP) as well as smaller left-wing parties, is also supporting the Republican People's Party (CHP) leader's candidacy. Kılıçdaroğlu is appealing to nationalist voters to make up the difference. However, as the election results show, he has not yet succeeded in winning the full support of nationalists outside the Erdoğan camp.
Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu differ on almost every issue, including Turkey's governance system, and their understanding of democracy, and the management of the country’s economy and foreign policy. The election results will therefore be decisive for the future of the country.
This topic page, which brings together various CATS Network publications, provides analysis on the different agendas of the ruling coalition and the opposition parties, their respective electoral strategies and chances, and forecasts of post-election scenarios.
In addition, you can find more information on the elections in our regular roundup.
in: The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), Policy brief #183/2023, July 2023 (online)more
Episode 28 of our weekly podcast examines the outcome of the final round of Turkey’s presidential election.
Hosted by Leslie Vinjamuri; with Galip Dalay, Sinem Adar, Dimitar Bechev; in: Chatham House, Independent Thinking, Episode 28, 02.06.2023 (audio)more
Turkey’s President Erdoğan is entering his third decade in power after winning a tightly contested run-off election. Hürcan Aslı Aksoy and Salim Çevik discuss how he managed to secure a third term, why the opposition failed to unseat the president and what the election results mean for Ankara’s relations with NATO allies, the EU and Germany.
SWP Podcast 2023/eP 02, 02.06.2023more
in: Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), 31.05.2023 (online)more
In his victory speech, the 69-year-old newly re-elected President Erdogan pledged to unite a country deeply divided. Claiming 52.1 per cent of the run-off vote, Erdogan emerged victorious yet again.
Interview by Gavin Lee, in: FRANCE24, Perspective, 29.05.2023 (video)more
in: The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), Policy brief #180/2023, May 2023 (online)more
in: Carnegie Europe, 16.05.2023 (online)more
Turkey 2023: the nation heads to the polls amid an uncertain future
in: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Commentary, 12.05.2023 (online)more
As Turkey heads to the polls on May 14, many fear that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan might not respect the election results if he is defeated. Aslı Aksoy and Salim Çevik argue that a violent rejection of the transfer of power is unlikely.
Point of View, 12.05.2023more
in: Arab Center Washington DC, 10.05.2023 (online)more
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