Turkey’s 2023 Elections: A collapsing economy is Erdoğan’s Achilles’ heel

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Turkey’s 2023 Elections: A collapsing economy is Erdoğan’s Achilles’ heel

Turkey’s national presidential elections are scheduled for June 2023, according to the official calendar of the country’s supreme election body, giving the ruling coalition government of President Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Devlet Bahçeli’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) eight months to cling on to power.
According to opposition leaders, the present administration has lost credibility due to its financial and political failures and should be ousted from office. Meanwhile, the AKP’s arch-rival, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), has formed an umbrella coalition of six opposition parties to end Erdoğan’s long-standing reign.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the head of the CHP, strives assiduously to become the opposition’s nominee for the presidency. Nevertheless, observers argue that the opposition bloc must choose the most prodigious candidate if it hopes to overthrow Erdoğan. This possibly alludes to the candidacy of İstanbul’s mayor and CHP member, Ekrem İmamoğlu.
İmamoğlu’s talented and charismatic personality undoubtedly makes him Erdoğan’s worst nightmare. But, the only impediment to İmamoğlu candidacy is Kılıçdaroğlu’s egotism, while polls consistently indicate that İmamoğlu has the greatest chance of beating Erdoğan.
At a meeting on September 17 attended by Ahmet Davutoğlu, the leader of the “Future Party” and a former ally of Erdoğan, Kılıçdaroğlu voiced his support for the six-party opposition front, slammed Erdoğan’s administration, and said, “When the government criticises us and asks, what will the six-party opposition achieve?” They fail to acknowledge that our remarkable accomplishment is that six different parties are sitting around a table. On the other hand, their relationship is neither transparent nor overt. What do Bahçeli and Erdoğan discuss behind closed doors? In contrast, we have nothing to conceal. ”
Kılıçdaroğlu also remarked on September 18 that the opposition is committed to winning the election, adding, “Our goal is to consolidate and stabilise the opposition. We will open up new prospects for Turkey. ”
While lambasting President Erdoğan’s policies, the famous political commentator, Tuncay Mollaveisoğlu, warned that the AKP is engaging in hazardous manoeuvres to boost its dwindling popularity. He also spoke about the importance of first-time voters. However, he emphasised that the opposition must win over the mountain of disenfranchised voters who choose not to cast ballots rather than relying only on the support of young people who enjoy their time at music festivals or nightclubs. In the meantime, the AKP administration is attempting to reach out to disgruntled voters by reestablishing a bridge of trust, but it seems their efforts will be in vain.
Erdoğan has ruled Turkey since 2003, and the forthcoming election has another significance for him. If he loses power, Erdoğan and his family might face criminal charges of financial malfeasance and abuse of power. This has led analysts to speculate that Erdoğan would resort to almost any strategy, democratic or not, to maintain his grip on power.
His prospects of winning are slim, as the country’s economy is in free fall and citizens increasingly demand genuine financial reforms. The most important thing is the existence of young and first-time voters in the upcoming election since they account for 16% of the population and might swing the election’s outcome. Although Erdoğan is politically vulnerable, he benefits from being the incumbent president and confronting a fragmented and chaotic political opposition.

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