The Current Situation in Turkey: Political Dynamics in Turkey Ahead of the 2023 General Elections

This report focuses on the social and political dynamics in Turkey on the road to the elections. Highlighting the rise of authoritarianism following the transition to the Presidential System of Government, Bayramoğlu notes that pushing Kurdish actors out of politics is among the most notable instances of this rise. Bayramoğlu foregrounds the underlying dynamics of this general framework, and the importance of accurately analyzing Turkey on the run-up to the elections. He emphasises that during this anticipatory period, the social, political and global circumstances, the political balances and actors, as well as the uncertainties surrounding the Presidential elections must be carefully investigated. During the run-up to the elections, Bayramoğlu notes that five factors in particular may influence the political trajectory, and balances among the political actors. These factors are: 1) inflation and the economic crisis, which are exacerbated by the irrational actions of the government, 2) Erdoğan’s potential decision to resort to manipulation regarding the Kurdish issue and İmralı in order to hurt support for the HDP, 3) geostrategic developments, which help equate Erdoğan with success and growth in foreign policy, 4) the Six-Party Alliance’s presidential candidate, and 5) the effect of the results of the parliamentary election on the outcome of the second round of presidential elections, which are to take place fifteen days later. The report meticulously interprets Turkey’s internal dynamics and the characteristics of its political parties, and provides a framework to the reader on the run-up to the elections.

The opinions expressed in the report are those of the writer, and do not reflect the official position of DPI. This research was sponsored by the governments of Norway, Switzerland and Ireland.