A lot has changed both in Turkey and in Turkey's main opposition CHP in the last decade. Following the recent congress of the CHP, I interviewed the 27-year-old lawyer Sevgi Kılıç who became the first woman with a headscarf to make it into the party assembly.
The trend in that started just before the presidential elections in 2018 and accelerated after the elections changed the chemistry of the economy in Turkey. Private sector in Turkey was restricted in every aspect. From pricing to sourcing, to investment licenses, all regulatory higher bodies worked to make the entrepreneurs feel that ‘the party state’ was watching them at every step.
Political communications experts believe that Turkey's Generation Z will be a hard demographic for candidates to win over in the 2023 general elections. One expert has told daily Hürriyet that members of this age group are either indifferent to the current political players, or simply not interested in politics.
While they are no new demographic, the restless conservatives are getting stronger amongst the ruling People's Alliance electorate and the AKP base in particular. The Erdoğan and AKP that they had supported so buoyantly for the past decade are no longer the same.
95 employees of the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) have been transferred to other parts of the country in a move that labor unions have blasted as 'revenge' against the workers by newly government-appointed TCDD management for the victory of opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu in last year's local elections.
Six co-mayors from the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) were removed from their posts by the Interior Ministry. While all six were replaced by trustees of the Interior Ministry, three of the southeastern co-mayors were later detained. Meanwhile, the mayor of an eastern province was detained on charges related to an ongoing investigation.
The AKP has become increasingly anxious about losing the symbiotic relationship with its voters it has built and nurtured over the years. Losing this would directly undermine the very foundation of the AKP’s political discourse which claims that the AKP is the sole political party to successfully govern and serve in Turkey.
Nobody in their right mind can think that being an opposition party in an autocratic environment is easy. However, one cannot learn how to swim without jumping in the water. Ali Babacan's party DEVA seems to be enjoying the dry land, not taking any risks, at a time when citizens are expecting brave and wise leadership.
Marmara province Yalova's town council elected a councilor from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to replace the elected mayor from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Mayor Vefa Salman was dismissed from his post within the scope of a corruption lawsuit he initiated after he reported an accountant employee's embezzlement of over one million Turkish Lira.