Stamp used to validate ballots cast within sealed envelops.

Elections in Turkey

In 2023, Turkey experienced one of the most important elections in its recent history. In the run-up to the 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections, Turkey's opposition, encouraged by the municipal victories in 2019, especially in Istanbul and Ankara, was hoping to secure a victory that would bring an end to Erdoğan's two decades of rule.

Contrary to expectations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his People’s Alliance defeated Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the opposition‘s National Alliance. Erdoğan won the presidency in the second round, while the People's Alliance secured a safe majority in parliament.

The defeat sent shock waves through the opposition ranks and led to the disintegration of the already fragile opposition alliance. With the opposition in disarray, the popular mayors of Istanbul and Ankara will face an uphill battle to turn the tide and retain the municipalities they won in 2019. In contrast, on the same evening that he won the presidential election, Erdoğan signalled his intention to take back key municipalities from the opposition in 2024. The results of the local elections will have important implications for the future of the opposition in Turkey and its potential to challenge AKP rule in 2028. Yet another AKP victory would not only contribute to the consolidation of the presidential system but also authoritarianism in Turkey.

Bringing together various publications of the CATS Network, this issue page analyses the 2023 and 2024 elections in Turkey, focusing on the agendas of different actors and parties throughout the electoral processes, their electoral strategies and chances, and the impact of the election results on the future of the country.

You can find more information on Turkey’s upcoming elections in the  CATS Network Roundup Local Elections 2024.

What is more, further insights from our CATS Network experts on the past 2023 twin elections can be found in the CATS Network Roundup General Election 2023.



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