With regard to the AK Party's voting rates, which were 38.8 percent in the 2009 local election, two different theories were proposed for the upcoming election. According to SETA, any figure above 40 percent will embolden the AK Party and Erdoğan and motivate him to run in the upcoming presidential election set for August. Any election result that falls below 40 percent is likely to lead to a reappraisal of Erdoğan's decision to run.
The AK Party's high-profile mayoral candidates are associated with the party's political mentality that the elections should not be regarded as local elections, but rather a critical turning point for the future of Erdoğan and the AK Party. The think tank reported that the AK Party nominated highly influential candidates such as former Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım, AK Party Deputy Chairman Menderes Türel and former Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin in localities where their chance of success is slim in an attempt to receive the highest level of votes.
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