Apr 20 2018

AKP will have a solid majority in the new Parliament - political analyst

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will have a solid majority in the new parliament in the elections to be held on June 24 and the executive presidency, which would give President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan great powers, will kick in after that date, the political director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute, Soner Çağaptay, predicted in his commentary in the New York Times on Thursday. 

According to Çağaptay, Erdoğan is “expected to win because he has, once again, managed to stack the odds — militant nationalism, strong economic growth, a post-coup state of emergency that allows him to deploy security forces to crush his opposition and almost complete control of the Turkish media — in his favour”.

Çağaptay noted that Erdoğan is seizing the moment before the Turkish economy shows signs of overheating and enjoying popular support after Turkey’s military campaign in the Syrian town of Afrin against Kurdish militias. Çağaptay also adds that the sale of Turkey’s largest media group, Doğan Media, to a government affiliated businessman and the recent changes in the election system are important events that will affect the election outcome. 

“Mr. Erdoğan has also moved to neutralize two key challengers: Meral Akşener, a center-right nationalist politician who recently founded the Good Party, and Selahattin Demirtaş, the imprisoned leader of the pro-Kurdish HDP,” Çağaptay adds. 

“The AKP will have a solid majority in the new Parliament. June 24 — the polling day — will be a historic day in Turkey,” says Çağaptay. “The executive presidency, which would repose great powers in Mr. Erdogan, will kick in after June 24, and Turkey will formally switch to a new era where the president will be the ultimate head of state, government, police, army and the ruling party”.