In mid April 2017, the Turkish public voted in what was arguably the most consequential referendum in Turkey's republican history. The constitutional referendum, which was approved by a slim margin of 51%, will see sweeping changes in Turkish democracy. In the light of this constitutional reform, Turkey will be moving away from its traditional parliamentary system to a more executive presidency in the lead up to the 2019 Presidential Elections.
As a result the different spheres in Turkish politics are now quickly readying themselves for this new political reality. In 2019, the Turkish electorate will head to the polls 3 times in ordinary municipal elections, as well as for parliamentary and presidential elections that will, for the first time, be held on the same day. Turkey's political entities are already working in preparation for this make-or-break year in which the all seats of political authority will be up for grabs. Turkey's traditional political forces, the ruling Justice and Development Party (Ak Parti), main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), conservative right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) will be joined by a new political force, a new centre-right, Good Party (İyi Parti) that was recently established under the leadership of former MHP parliamentarian and veteran Turkish politician, Meral Akşener, as well as a range of other policians with from a multitude of political backgrounds. This new party stands on the platform of uniting a divided country and improving democracy by striving for a return to a parliamentary system. As the race begins to tighten and the road to 2019 draws closer, these political forces will all play out their strategies in order to secure the maximum level of support they can attain. The potential political alliances that will form, as well as the manner in which Turkey's various contesting political entities will strategise in accordance to the new double presidential-parliamentary electoral system will result in a new power balance that will lead Turkey up until 2024.
Published by Kenan Cruz Cilli