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Gauging the likely impact of Sunday’s election in Turkey

In 2011 general election, Constitution, Kurdish question, Party politics on June 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Ahead of Turkey’s parliamentary elections on Sunday, Yigal Schleifer, who maintains the must-read Istanbul Calling blog, is making a guest appearance here to answer a number of my questions about the likely impact of the poll. In return, you’ll find my responses to a series of Yigal’s questions over on Istanbul Calling. Read the rest of this entry »

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Turkey’s general election: countdown to a fait accompli

In 2011 general election, Constitution, Democratisation, Party politics, Turkey on April 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm

On June 12 Turkey’s electorate will go to the polls in the country’s 17th general election. In each of the last two elections, in 2002 and 2007, the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) has emerged as a comfortable winner. It is all but certain to do so again this year. There are risks to this forecast, but they have Read the rest of this entry »

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu buys himself some valuable time

In Party politics on November 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm

There are few things more valuable in politics than the capacity to surprise. With this in mind, recent events within Turkey’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), mark a potentially important moment in the career of party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. His ousting of the party’s secretary general, the unreconstructedly old-school Önder Sav, was unexpectedly swift, decisive and direct. As a result, many voters will be adjusting upwards their assessment of Mr Kılıçdaroğlu.

These developments could not have come at a better time for the CHP or for Turkey. It is a truism at this stage to note that the absence of an effective opposition is one of the most dangerous imbalances in the political system here. For a range of reasons, the CHP is currently the only serious potential challenger to the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP). However, it is hobbled by having let itself fall so far behind the AKP in terms of political and electoral sophistication. And with less than eight months left until the next election, there is a limit Read the rest of this entry »