Exeter, Devon UK • Sep 24, 2023 • VOL XII
Exeter, Devon UK • Sep 24, 2023 • VOL XII
Home InternationalBeyond Exeter Erdogan wins the 2023 election in Turkey

Erdogan wins the 2023 election in Turkey

Ibrahim Melih Polat describes how this year’s race for power in Turkey concluded
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Erdogan wins the 2023 election in Turkey

Image: CeeGee via Wikimedia Commons

Ibrahim Melih Polat describes how this year’s race for power in Turkey concluded

The Republic of Turkey has been through an utterly controversial election process for a year, and ultimately the election rally concluded on the 28th May. As a consequence of the election, Recep Tayyip Erdogan managed to retain his power for five more years. This election rally was considerably challenging for Erdogan due to the massive earthquake incident in February 2023 and the severe financial problems that carried on for years. However, Erdogan managed to win with 52.14% of the votes. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, election results will affect multiple issues in Turkey. So far, President Erdogan has changed his attitude towards the financial policies he insisted on for a long time and deployed his former minister, Mehmet Simsek, an alumnus of the University of Exeter, in the Ministry of Treasury. Following that, Hafize Gaye Erkan was appointed to Central Bank as manager, and she had a considerable reputation among financial institutions and the environment. 

As a consequence of the election, Recep Tayyip Erdogan managed to retain his power for five more years

However, it’s the object of curiosity how he pulled off defeating the opposition block despite Turkey’s giant problems. In fact, election polls have been favoring opposition party leader, Kılıcdaroglu. Therefore, it was quite a shock for the opposition side. Even though Kılıcdaroglu achieved to consolidate whole opposition parties around the table of six, but Homeland Party and its leader Muharrem Ince, there were crucial points for the opposition sides that paved the way to defeat. Firstly, Kılıcdaroglu included at table six former AKP members, Davutoglu’s Future Party (former PM of AKP) and Babacan’s ( former minister of AKP’s government) Democracy and Progress Party. Kılıcdaroglu’s collaboration with these two parties created a jar among the opposition side. Another point is that the table of six has struggled to decide on a presidential candidate; which part of the table of six, Meral Aksener, has been advocating the candidacy of Major of Istanbul or Ankara, Imamoglu, and Yavas.

Even election polls were favouring the two major for the presidential election; however, Kılıcdaroglu has insisted on his candidacy. In fact, since 2009, when Kılcıdaroglu became head of the CHP, Erdogan has won 12 elections against Kılıcdaroglu. On the 3rd March, tension in Table of Six reached its peak, and Aksener announced that she withdrew from the table and clandestinely blamed Kılıcdaroglu and other components of Table of Six. Aksener said Table of Six is not representing people’s will. It induced a significant shock in Turkey and created suspicions among the public regarding the opposition side. Even though Aksener returned the table after three days, it seems that the quarrel impacted peoples’ view towards the Table of Six negatively. While Table of Six has struggled with these problems, Erdogan did not engage in this polemics and launched a collective house project in the earthquake zone and promised 319.000 houses in the year to earthquake victims. Election results on the earthquake zone depict that Erdogan managed to convince earthquake victims, and the Erdogan coalition, People’s Alliance, gained significant support from the earthquake zone.

Following that, President Erdogan opted aggressive election policy and highlighted security issues, and outlined development in the defense sector. However, Kılcdaroglu preferred a softer approach to consolidate the opposition block, which ultimately failed. Eventually, Kılıcdaroglu failed in the parliamentary election and gained only 129 MPs, while CHP had 146 MPs in the 2018 election; AKP and Cumhur Ally gained a majority of parliament and the presidential election.

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