Thanks to a growing economy and relative political stability, there was little doubt that Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would win a third consecutive victory in the June 12 general elections. What remained to be seen was the size of Prime Minister Erdoğan’s new majority, which hinged on how well the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and Kurdish independents performed. Once the dust of the Turkey’s election settled, a number of critical issues awaited the new government, all with implications for the geopolitically strategic nation, its relations with the West and its emerging influence as a global power. Will a new Constitution be written that delivers the promise of a more democratic Turkey? Will Turkey continue its pursuit to reconcile ethnic tensions and the demands of its increasingly outspoken Kurdish minority? Is Turkey heading towards a presidential system with Erdoğan as President? How will the new government address its unsolved foreign policy issues?
On June 17, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings (CUSE) hosted a discussion to analyze the Turkish elections with leading Turkish experts. The event was organized in partnership with the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD). Panelists included Fuat Keyman of Sabancı University, Nonresident Senior Fellow Ömer Taşpınar, and Nuh Yılmaz of the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA).
Senior Fellow and CUSE Director Fiona Hill moderated the discussion and provided introductory remarks. After the program, the speakers took audience questions.
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[Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would face a presidential run-off] with his aura of invincibility and traditional mastery over Turkish politics severely weakened [if he fails to secure outright victory on June 24 and the AKP loses its parliamentary majority].