SUITS Policy Brief: What can we expect from Turkey’s 2023 elections?

What can we expect from Turkey’s 2023 elections?

Author: Jenny White (SUITS)

February, 2023

Stockholm University, Institute for Turkish Studies (SUITS)

SUMMARY

Turkey will hold elections for parliament and president on May 14, 2023, the outcome of which will radically shape Turkey’s future and relations with the rest of the world. Two main blocs of political parties have formed, one around the ruling AKP and current president, Tayyip Erdoğan, and the other around the opposition CHP and its leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. A win by Erdoğan will consolidate Turkey as an autocracy facing away from the West, while the opposition plans to return the country to parliamentary rule and broadly restore good relations with the West. Votes within the alliances will be pooled and polls currently show them almost equal for both elections, giving the excluded pro-Kurdish HDP, which polls at around 10%, the role of kingmaker. Both alliances must overcome their nationalist tendences to woo the Kurds. If the opposition wins, the West must act quickly to help stabilize the country for what will be a fragile return to democracy.  

Turkey’s Mission Impossible: War and Peace with the Kurds

Join the discussion of the book launch of Cengiz Çandar’s Turkey’s Mission Impossible: War and Peace with the Kurds. In conversation with Bitte Hammargren.

When Turkey moved into the modern era as a nation-state, it brought with it the denial of Kurdish identity. This denial created a seemingly intractable “Kurdish question” that has been marked by numerous revolts and decades of insurgency.

In his new book Cengiz Çandar – journalist, former presidential advisor and public intellectual – blends a historical account of the Kurdish question in Turkey with his own experiences and insights into the politicians and fighters involved. Paying close attention to the repeatedly failing peace processes, Turkey’s Mission Impossible challenges conventional views on Turkey and provides a nuanced picture of how we arrived at now.

This event is co-hosted by Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies and the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

Cengiz Çandar is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies (SUITS), and Senior Associate Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) Middle East and North Africa Programme.

Bitte Hammargren is an independent and self-employed writer, analyst and consultant on issues related to Turkey, North Africa and West Asia, i.e. the MENA region, and a Senior Associate Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) Middle East and North Africa Programme.

Click here to register and read more about the event.