Turkey in election campaign mode

On 14 May, Turkey will elect a new parliament and a new president. The lists of candidates have been available since 9 April. The Nation Alliance consisting of six parties under CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has formed to end the long rule of AK Party leader and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his presidential system. Commentators see little chance of it succeeding.

Kurier (AT) /

Opposition alliance too disparate

We should not expect too much of the Nation Alliance, warns Kurier:

“We may well doubt the clout of the united opposition. And not only because its leader, Kemal Kiliçdaroğlu, is already 74 years old and not very charismatic, but because the alliance could not be more heterogeneous: it includes social democrats, stringent nationalists and even Islamists. The only thing that unites them is the slogan: Erdoğan must go! ... But this is of little use as the only binding element — as similar experiments in Hungary and Israel have shown.”

Walter Friedl
NV (UA) /

Erdoğan losing would cause problems too

It is not at all certain that the current president would relinquish power if he were beaten, writes Ihor Semiwolos, director of the Think Tank Association for Middle East Studies, in NV:

“What will happen to Erdoğan if he loses? This is a question that probably has no answer in Turkish society. There is a lot at stake, because as we know from Turkey’s past, many will call for investigations into a number of things, such as the repression that followed the failed military coup in Turkey. ... So for Erdoğan, losing the elections is likely to be associated with many problems. And it is precisely with this in mind that many say he will not simply give up his power if he loses.”

Ihor Semiwolos
Yetkin Report (TR) /

Europe’s secret favourite

Yetkin Report is convinced:

“If Kılıçdaroğlu wins, the West, especially the EU, will face a serious test. ... It is easy to ‘marginalize’ and ‘othering’ the Islamist and now nationalist Erdoğan. ... EU capitals are worried that if Kılıçdaroğlu sends Syrians back, they will take other routes to Europe. But Erdoğan is willing to keep them in Türkiye for his own political and economic interests. This is what suits them. ... A Türkiye that turns its face back to the West is not in the interest of the religious, right-wing, conservative and racist circles in the West who see the EU as a Christian Club. In the eyes of most EU politicians, Türkiye must remain the antithesis. That is why they secretly prefer Erdoğan to win the elections.”

Murat Yetkin
Daily Sabah (TR) /

Ideological mish-mash means tough decision for voters

Burhanettin Duran, head of the pro-government think tank Seta, says in Daily Sabah:

“I believe that undecided voters will find it more difficult to choose in this election, in terms of identity and ideological affiliation, than at any other point in Türkiye’s recent past. That is because the polarization between the two main alliances is fueled by anti-Erdoğanism as opposed to the traditional right-left or conservative-secularist divide. ... Kılıçdaroğlu has been pushing all ideological buttons in an attempt to win votes but his efforts failed to give his party a meaningful identity.”

Burhanettin Duran