Turkey’s constitutional process for selecting a new president went off the rails in late April, precipitating early general elections that will take place July 22. With a dramatic statement on April 27, Turkey’s military was thrust back into domestic politics for the first time in a decade. The country’s perennially fractured secular political opposition is unifying and has held impressive demonstrations in anticipation of a showdown with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party, often described as “Islamic” in orientation by its opponents.
On June 19, Brookings hosted a panel discussion with some of Turkey’s leading political analysts on what may be the most important general election in Turkey in 20 years. Experts included: Asli Aydintasbas, Ankara bureau chief of Sabah Turkish daily newspaper and Cengiz Candar, columnist for Referans Turkish daily newspaper. Mark R. Parris, director of the Turkey 2007 Project and former ambassador to Turkey, moderated.