Turkey’s Municipal Elections: Act One in the Nation’s Political Drama
Turkey is entering into an eight-month long election cycle at a time when the country is undergoing considerable domestic turmoil. In 2013, the nation was rocked by the Gezi Park public protests, an evolving high-level government corruption scandal, and acrimonious fallout between the Gülen movement and Prime Minister Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). Municipal elections on March 30 are the first of three upcoming contests. Their results will set the tone and shape ambitions for the subsequent presidential and parliamentary elections, especially for the AKP.
On March 13, the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings hosted Ali Çarkoğlu of Koç University to discuss his new paper, Turkey Goes to the Ballot Box: 2014 Municipal Elections and Beyond. In the paper, Çarkoğlu explores the factors that are likely to shape the electorate’s preferences and examines the impact that the recent corruption scandal may have on the local election outcomes. Following opening remarks, Michael Reynolds of Princeton University offered comments. Brookings TUSIAD Senior Fellow Kemal Kirişci moderated the discussion and took audience questions after the program.
Ali Çarkoğlu is currently a professor of political science and dean of the College of Administrative Sciences and Economics at the Koç University in Istanbul. His most recent book, co-authored with Ersin Kalaycıoğlu, is The Rising Tide of Conservatism in Turkey (2009). Michael A. Reynolds is associate professor of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, where he teaches Turkish and Eurasian history and politics. He is the author of Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires, 1908-1918 (2011). The event is part of the TUSIAD U.S.-Turkey Forum at Brookings, which hosts conferences, seminars and workshops to consider topics of relevance to U.S.-Turkish and transatlantic relations.