Türkiye's high-stakes elections [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Briefing 03-05-2023

Türkiye holds presidential and parliamentary elections on 14 May 2023, which could mark a political turnaround after two decades of increasing autocratic rule of the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan faces an unprecedented challenge from the main opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and presidential nominee for the six-party Nation Alliance bloc. The elections take place amid a serious economic crisis and what analysts say is democratic erosion under Erdogan’s government. Polls predict a record voter turnout, and a tight race between the incumbent president and Kilicdaroglu. Under the Erdogan party’s rule, the Muslim country has abandoned its secularist tradition and turned into an increasingly difficult partner for the West, including the European Union and NATO. This note gathers links to the recent publications and commentaries from many international think tanks on Türkiye’s election, its relations with the EU and its internal and foreign policies.