Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced the presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on May 14, five weeks earlier than previously scheduled. The president claims the reason behind the change is to avoid a clash with the festivities of the pilgrimage to Mecca. However, not everyone is convinced by the explanation for the sudden date change.
The current president’s popularity has been hit hard by the handling of the recent earthquake crisis. The disasters that struck Turkey on February 6 were an enormous tragedy, and the country has not yet fully recovered. Erdogan has acknowledged that mistakes were made within the government, which has caused a loss of support for the ruling party. In recent polls, the opposition candidate Kemal Kiliçdaroglu is ahead, with around 55% of the votes.
Erdogan, who has been in power since 2002, has called for a vote of confidence that will determine his chance of re-election. According to recent surveys, the president would receive between 43 and 45% of the votes, which is still not enough to guarantee him another six-year term as the leader of the country.
Many Turks are unhappy with the declining economy, rising unemployment rates, and the government’s handling of the pandemic. The opposition coalition is capitalizing on these issues to gain support, resulting in a significant boost for Kiliçdaroglu. Erdogan must work hard to regain the trust of his people if he wants a chance of victory in the upcoming elections.
Before the issue of date change, many people have been criticizing the Turkish government’s response to the pandemic, and although the country appears to have recovered, the general public is not satisfied. If Erdogan wants to increase his chances of winning, he needs to address the concerns of the people and offer concrete solutions for their problems.
The upcoming elections are crucial for Turkey’s future, and the winner will have to navigate the country through numerous challenges, including a struggling economy, a pandemics, and geopolitical tensions. The Turkish people’s decision will affect the country’s political and economic stability, and therefore, it is essential that they participate in the elections to voice their opinion.