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CEFTUS briefing on Turkey’s upcoming local elections

CEFTUS briefing on Turkey’s upcoming local elections

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06 December 2018

Political parties have begun to nominate candidates for local elections, a potentially crucial moment for both the government and opposition

  • Turkey’s big cities are set to be strongly contested in March 2019
  • Here, the ruling Justice and Development Party is turning to its nationalist allies amidst a negotiating economy
  • Unless the opposition overcomes its divisions, it will struggle to mount a serious challenge

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) enters the local elections under pressure from a deteriorating economic climate. The challenge facing the party is particularly acute in the big cities. At the last local elections in 2014, the AKP won just over 50% of the vote in Ankara and Istanbul, but at the referendum in 2017, a slim majority in those cities rejected the government’s plans for a newly empowered presidential system.

Losing control of the major cities would be a significant blow to the AKP’s political prestige while providing the opposition with a strong platform from which to rebuild. The party has therefore indicated that it will…

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