Turkey’s new election: War or peace?

30 October 2015

As the Turkish population heads to the polls for the second time in five months, Amanda Paul of the European Policy Centre and EFD's Senior Policy Adviser, Dr Demir Murat Seyrek, write about what has happened on the ground in Turkey since the last election, what to expect as the polls prepare to open, and what's really at stake. Leading up to 1 November's election date, the atmosphere has been highly charged with financial volatility and a rise in violence, including the disastrous suicide bombing that occurred at a recent peace rally in Ankara.

The article analyses Turkey's last election and explains the current political landscape as it stands, with the 1 November date fast approaching.

Among other pivotal details presented, the authors map out the current rivalries among several of Turkey's main political parties, some of which have intensified in the wake of the most recent 7 June election. This includes the ruling Justice and Democratic Party (AKP) party's, led by President Tayyip Erdogan, previous and likely remaining refusal to form a coalition government with the opposition, despite extensive discussions and their apparent flexibility.

As we look towards what will occur next, the article points to several parties which will play a key role in the upcoming snap elections. Among them, the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) who, on the one hand, may lose support due to the HDP's close affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), whose attacks have intensified. On the other hand, the article notes that this therefore presents the HDP with a historical opportunity to distance itself from the PKK altogether.

Also of great importance, are the recent dialogues that have occurred between President Erdogan and leaders of the EU, with regards to the shared repercussions of the Syrian conflict and the migrant crisis. The extent that such negotiations will boost the President's campaign, however, remains to be seen, with recent polls suggesting the possibility a repeat of 7 June and yet another hung parliament.

Looking towards Sunday's election, the authors conclude by highlighting the immense factors which are at stake, and point to several detailed scenarios.

The article is English and can be read here.