Turkey: what will determine local election results?

The nationwide local elections in Turkey on 31 March look set to become a test of levels of support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AK Party. In Istanbul in particular, a victory for the opposition with Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu is on the cards. The national press sheds light on factors that could influence the election result.

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Birgün (TR) /

No signs of economic recovery

The economy has not improved in the slightest, Birgün observes:

“In the last two weeks before the elections there has been a lot of activity on the currency and gold markets. The reason for this is that the expected influx of money has not only not materialised, but money is actually leaving the country, albeit slowly. If you explain at every opportunity that you are dependent on the inflow of foreign money, lenders will make full use of their negotiating skills and demand additional concessions. ... The real culprit in this crisis is the AKP regime itself, which with its various actors, mistaken policies and anti-labour preferences has driven people into dreadful poverty.”

Artı Gerçek (TR) /

Abstention is self-punishment

The disappointed opposition voters will be decisive, Artı Gerçek is convinced:

“One of the most important factors for the election result is the 'disgruntled voters'. In the 2023 parliamentary elections, the defeat of the opposition alliance, which was so close to victory, greatly demoralised the masses. There are many people who want to express their anger with the opposition front, especially Kılıçdaroğlu and the CHP, by not going to the polls. ... But the only way to protect our economic, social and cultural existence is through politics. That's why not going to the polls actually means punishing ourselves.”