Reports 2014

Evaluating Turkey’s local elections - What will the future bring?

3 April 2014

On 30 March 2014 Turks went to the polls for important local elections which saw the ruling AKP party’s share of the vote rising six percentage points to just over 44% compared with the most recent municipal elections in 2009 results. The main opposition party, CHP, received 29%. With Turkey engulfed by a corruption probe a few months before presidential elections, the outcome certainly played a key role in shaping Turkey’s future political landscape. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sees the election as a referendum on his leadership. Now twelve years since he first came to power, Erdoğan is accused of being increasingly authoritarian, taking oppressive measures which have eroded the rule of law and fundamental freedoms. The ongoing corruption scandal, which the Prime Minister claims is a “conspiracy” by external forces, in collaboration with a ‘parallel state,’ has seriously damaged his image both inside and outside Turkey. Yet with a loyal core support base, Erdoğan still remains a formidable force. This Policy Dialogue analysed the outcome of the local elections and the likely impact on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy.