Earthquake in Turkey: impact on domestic politics and the May 2023 elections

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Earthquake in Turkey: impact on domestic politics and the May 2023 elections
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 1 (64) . P. 126-146
DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2023-1-126-146

Abstract. In May 2023, general presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Turkey, as a result of which the ruling government in confirmed its authority: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan retained his post and his People’s Alliance received a majority in the Grand National Assembly (Mejlis). The victory turned out to be difficult for the Turkish authorities. R.T.Erdogan won in two rounds of voting in a fierce competition with opposition candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. However, while powerful People’s Alliance retained its majority in the Mejlis, it failed to get the desired qualified majority, having lost the opportunity to adopt a new Constitution within the next five years to replace the one in force since 1982. Elections in Turkey took place against the background of the largest earthquake in the country’s modern history that occurred on February 6, 2023 and the elimination of its consequences. The purpose of this article is to determine the consequences of the earthquake for Turkey’s domestic politics in terms of the course and results of the general presidential and parliamentary elections and the impact on domestic political situation for the five-year term of the newly elected president and the Mejlis in 2023–2028. Results of the national development during the 20-year period of Erdogan’s and Justice and Development Party’s rule are inspected. Based on the analysis of program documents, pledges and statements by the government and opposition, the impact of the earthquake on political processes in Turkey and on the turn of the Turkish voters’ attention to domestic issues is explored. The article marks an increase in nationalist and anti-immigrant sentiments in Turkey, regardless of the political views of the Turkish electorate, and suggests that these sentiments will continue to play a significant role in the coming years.

Keywords: Turkey, Justice and Development Party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, People’s Alliance, Republican People’s Party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, National Alliance, presidential elections, parliamentary elections, February 6, 2023 earthquake


About author

Ivan Starodubtsev is an expert at the Middle East Institute, Moscow, and a representative of Association of software developing companies “Russoft” in Ankara, Turkey.


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Starodubtsev I. Earthquake in Turkey: impact on domestic politics and the May 2023 elections // Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 1 (64) . P. 126-146. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2023-1-126-146



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