Prominent global newspapers and political observers claim that the upcoming election in Türkiye is the most important of 2023.
Why not? Türkiye has been moving toward being a regional power and a country of global balance, step by step, against the economic game-setters that hold the world under control. And these policies are determined by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) – which has been in power for 20 years.
Especially President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has emerged as a world leader with experience and knowledge during this period, someone who knows the potential of his country and what he wants.
By the irony of fate, the opposition wants from President Erdoğan what the international rivals request from the president, like the United States, and Russia. Also, other countries, be it Iran or Greece or France.
Hence, opposition parties in Türkiye are attempting to unify all those who oppose President Erdoğan. The opposition bloc, namely the National Alliance, also known as the "Table for Six," brings together all the different political parties in the country. However, their only shared objective is opposition to Erdoğan, and they lack a common ground beyond that. The parties have differing ideologies, political beliefs, and goals that often contradict one another.
The opposition parties use expressions for themselves, such as partnership, developing shared wisdom, and even democracy's dream team, but this "dream team," for example, when appointing the presidential candidate, experiences apocalyptic confusion.
Meral Akşener, the chairperson of the Good Party (IP), which is the second-largest party in the National Alliance opposition bloc, recently returned to the “Table for Six” after leaving it and challenged her comrades (or rivals) at the table. As a consequence of this internal crisis, the survey we conducted recently revealed that IP had lost a significant amount of electoral support.
As per our survey, the votes of the IP, which was around 11-12% before the argument at the table, receded to 7% today. It is painful for a relatively new party that could not yet complete its institutionalization. Either it will face an existential problem soon or recover.
Türkiye's main opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP), seems to have around 23% of the votes in the latest opinion polls. If we add 7% for the IP and 2% for the other four parties at the table, the total National Alliance percentage share would be 32-34%.
The Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) takes approximately 11-12% of the votes, and when one adds this to the table, the strategic impasse of the table becomes clearer.
If (or when) the HDP comes to the "table," the IP will be uneasy, and when the IP is dominant, the HDP is nervous. The coalescence at the table does not increase the strength of the opposition alliance or their motivation. Every step increases demotivation.
In this context, it seems it is tough for the National Alliance to win elections. Although the ruling AK Party has been in power for 20 years, it still has around 40-41% of electoral support and is almost twice as favored as its closest rival. Such balances complicate the election-winning strategy of the National Alliance as it has many fragments, different identities, and contrasting ideological structures.
Turkish people will conclude within the framework of its expectations in two months, apart from some global expectations and hopes of the Turkish opposition bloc.
The Turkish people are doctors of political science and experts in electoral affairs. They will demonstrate their expertise and draw an exceptional framework in the forthcoming election, and it seems the opposition has a more difficult job at hand than the government.