Presidential elections in Turkey: Erdogan’s strategies to win re-election

Presidential elections in Turkey: Erdogan's strategies to win re-election

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Turkey, or Türkiye, as it is currently known, unofficially entered the electoral campaign ahead of the presidential and legislative elections that are scheduled for May 14. With a management between ups and downs, the current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan stands as the strongest candidate in the electoral contest. Erdogan has been in power for 20 years and enjoys a winning streak in electoral processes: in total, 12 elections and 3 referendums in a row.

Erdogan is the 12th president of Turkey and has been in power since 2014, when Turkey was a parliamentary country. He was prime minister from 2003 to 2014 and is the current president of the Justice and Development Party (AKP for its acronym in Turkish).

The official call for the elections will be held on March 10, after which the Supreme Electoral Council of Turkey will prepare for the elections. Initially the elections were going to be held in June, but the ruling party warned that these would coincide with the summer and religious holidays, for this reason they changed the dates.

Who will be able to measure forces against Erdogan? One possible candidate is the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu. But Turkish judges and prosecutors seem very keen to get it out of the way.

There is an alliance made up of six parties, but it has not yet officially presented a candidate. Meanwhile, the pro-Kurdish party, the third political outsider in Parliament, was excluded from this alliance and has not nominated a candidate either.

This electoral process comes at a time when inflation is extremely high in Turkey, the Turkish lira has depreciated, foreign investors fear for the economic scenario, nepotism reigns and there is some fatigue around the image of the president, who has managed to give importance to Turkey on the international scene, but its roles in the war in Ukraine are ambiguous, its distancing from Europe has taken its toll and its role in the war in Syria is questioned by various quarters.

Erdogan has cards up his sleeve to convince voters: discussions with NATO, which are quite a media spectacle, the refugee crisis and Turkish influence in Central Asia are just a few. Does Erdogan’s re-election have a future? What role can the opposition play? What balance can be made of the Erdogan administration? We analyze it in this edition of El Debate with our guests:

– Lucía Cirianni, graduate in Technology, professor of Asian and African studies, and doctor of the Islamic Studies program at the Free University of Berlin.

– Oscar Martínez, PhD in Political Science and professor of International Relations at IE University.

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