Turkish Opposition Party Wins Plurality in Local Elections

  • Turkey's leading opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), made significant gains against Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in local elections held over the weekend. CNBC
  • The CHP won 37.8% of the vote, its highest share since 1977, while the AKP only won 35.5%, its worst showing in local elections since the party was founded over 20 years ago. Erdoğan acknowledged his party's losses, calling them "a turning point." New York Times (LR: 2 CP: 5)
  • The CHP managed to hold on to or gain the country’s five biggest cities, including Istanbul, in which CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoğlu was re-elected as mayor. The CHP also claimed victories in Ankara, Adana, Bursa, and Izmir. POLITICO
  • The AKP did manage to flip Hatay, a formerly opposition-held major city in southern Turkey near the Syrian border, which was heavily damaged by devasting earthquakes last year that killed more than 53K. New York Times (LR: 2 CP: 5)
  • Turkey's economy has seen an inflation rate of almost 70% and slow growth. Erdoğan has preferred aggressive economic policies, with his Finance Minister saying on Monday that Turkey is working toward reducing inflation and achieving sustainable growth. Reuters
  • Though the CHP made solid gains, the AKP still enjoys large contingents of support across the country, with turnout being down by over 10% compared to last year. The AKP is also still the ruling party, as it won presidential and parliamentary elections the past May. NPR Online News (LR: 3 CP: 5)

Narrative A:

  • Every citizen of Turkey should feel proud that they live in an energetic and pluralistic democracy in which the people can tell those in power how they feel and express their grievances with the state. Pres. Erdoğan, throughout his tenure, has consistently demonstrated his desire to listen to the Turkish people and enact their wishes. This election, though certainly a turning point for the AKP, is by no means the end. The AKP will reflect on this election and continue working toward the interests of the Turkish people.
    DAILY SABAH

Narrative B:

  • Erdoğan is correct in celebrating Turkish democracy. However, he should be feeling a lot of pressure as his grip on power begins to loosen. Erdoğan has consistently demonstrated his desire to subvert Turkish democracy for his own financial and political interests. Though he may be an authoritarian, Erdoğan is not a dictator, and the Turkish opposition should now feel a new surge of energy moving forward. With coordination and will, Erdoğan can be ousted and Turkey's democracy renewed.
    GUARDIAN (LR: 2 CP: 5)

Nerd narrative:

  • There's a 7% chance that Turkey will be a member of the European Union by 2040, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
    METACULUS (LR: 3 CP: 3)
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