On January 18, 2023, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey and leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), addressed a group at the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara. At a gathering in the northwestern city of Bursa, Erdogan declared that he would utilize his power to move up Turkey’s election date to May 14.
In a video broadcast distributed by his office, Erdogan noted that the current election is not taking place sooner than planned, but merely brought forward. May 14 is a significant date in Turkish history as it marks the country’s first inaugural free election in 1950.
The Turkish head stated that they had reached a compromise regarding the timetable with their minor right-wing coalition ally in order to avoid interrupting the school examination periods.
The start of the electoral contest is scheduled for March 10, leaving the Turkish opposition with a limited period to get ready.
For months, they have been striving to come to a consensus on a single individual to compete against Erdogan in the election in Turkey.
Erdogan stands to benefit from the inflation and weak exchange rate in the upcoming elections in Turkey, as well as discord amongst the populace.
Utilizing the government’s power to influence the media, he has shaped the country’s political conversation.
This week, a representative of a rival political party informed AFP that they would be making their joint candidate announcement in the month of February.
Ekrem Imamoglu, the popular mayor of Istanbul who is from the opposition, is leading in opinion polls, indicating a possible victory over Erdogan in a direct election.
The 2019 local election in Turkey brought about the conclusion of Erdogan’s ruling party’s domination, with him being the one to bring it to a close.
Last month, a court in Istanbul prohibited a 52-year-old individual from political involvement, however, they have submitted an appeal and, technically, can vie for the presidency.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the main opposition CHP, is the most probable contender to take on Erdogan in the electoral contest due to the legal resistance of Imamoglu.
Compared to the mayor, who is more charismatic and photogenic, the opposition leader, Kilicdaroglu, has had difficulty obtaining the backing of other opposition figures.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici