Turkish analysts present these indicators, whether related to the presidential or parliamentary elections, and monitor what the voter vote trends mean, and the proportions of votes obtained by the “people’s” coalition led by Erdogan.
The difficulties of the 2023 elections
- For the first time, Erdogan went to a run-off in the presidential elections, whose results were very close to his rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
- The voter turnout for the Justice and Development Party declined to 34.3 percent for the first time in the legislative elections that took place on May 14, while it was 42.5 percent in the 2018 elections in which the party was forced to enter into an alliance for the first time with the National Movement Party to secure the parliamentary majority.
- Following the history of the party in the elections since 2002, we find that at that time it achieved the absolute majority by obtaining 363 deputies out of 600 deputies, in a rare event in Turkey, but after that voting for it began to decline continuously, as follows:
- The 2002 elections won 363 deputies.
- The 2007 elections won 341 deputies.
- The 2011 elections won 326 deputies.
- The 2015 elections won 258 deputies.
- The 2018 elections won 295 deputies.
- The 2023 elections won 266 deputies.
- In the 2023 elections, for the first time, the major opposition parties will unite in one alliance, the “Nation Alliance”, to run in the presidential and parliamentary races.
- The foregoing means that Erdogan will face, for the first time, a strong opposition supported by a supporter who reaches almost half of the people, and he must deal with this problem in the future.
Reasons for retraction
Turkish political analyst Hisham Gunay explains to Sky News Arabia what is behind the two-decade decline in voting for Erdogan and his party:
- Existing alliances affected party voting.
- The economic crisis, which many attribute to the government, is like the party’s inability to rein in inflation and interest rates.
- The alliance of the Justice and Development Party with the National Movement Party led to its delinquency towards nationalist orientations, especially towards the Kurds.
- The alliance with the “Huda Bar” (Kurdish-Islamic) party raised women’s concerns about women’s rights.
Find an alternative
Aydoğan Unal, a professor of political science at Ege University, puts forward the reasons behind the decline of the AKP, especially in the big cities.
These votes did not go to the opposition as a bloc, but rather remained in the circle of the “People’s Party” coalition led by the Justice and Development Party, but went to the party’s allies in the parliamentary elections, namely the National Movement and the New Welfare Party. Which means they are looking for an alternative.
An indication of this is the decline in the number of AKP deputies in Cankiri and Bolu, and in Sparta, until it lost two deputies, with an increase in the vote for its ally, the National Movement Party, in addition to the Republican People’s Party.
This opinion is supported by Karim Oktim, a professor of political science and international relations, saying: “Despite their continued loyalty to Erdogan, there are many in the AKP audience who believe that the party has begun to deteriorate and is looking for alternatives.”
In turn, he points out that “some of the votes that did not vote for the Justice and Development Party turned into its allies, and accordingly, the National Movement Party almost did not lose votes, and the People’s Alliance won the majority, by obtaining 49 percent in the general elections.”
In his words, although the People’s Alliance won the majority, there is a “major shift” because many voters have switched to other parties in the coalition away from their traditional party.
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