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Commentary | 5 April 2024

The Women Leaders Podcast: Winds of change in Turkey? Decrypting the recent local elections

Diplomacy Economy Europe Gender Middle East Podcasts Terrorism Turkey

The results of Turley’s recent local elections (31st March 2024) came as a great surprise. Pre-election polling suggested the AKP party of President Erdogan was on course to win, but instead, the main opposition CHP party swept up an impressive number of cities and towns, notably the ten major cities of the country, which collectively represent over 74% of Turkey’s GDP. This is a massive shift in the country’s political landscape, signalling a potential call for deep change. Put another way: has Turkey reached a critical juncture after two decades under the Erdogan regime?

Zeynep Atikkan, senior Turkish journalist, joins Ilana Bet-El in a discussion of this and many other questions about the Turkish electoral and political landscape. From economic concerns, the Kurdish issue, and generational shifts, to civil society engagement, women’s roles, protests, media influence, and evolving political dynamics – the underpinning realities of Turkish politics are revealed and discussed; not least the weakened position of President Erdogan and his AKP party.

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Recorded on 4 April 2024

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The opinions articulated above represent the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Leadership Network or all of its members. The ELN’s aim is to encourage debates that will help develop Europe’s capacity to address the pressing foreign, defence, and security policy challenges of our time.

Image credit: Florence Ferrando