Turkey’s future is in the balance, by Ariane Bonzon (Le Monde Diplomacy)

can he win?Turkish Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kultidalor attends a rally in Canakkale, western Turkey, April 11, 2023

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N.ah In two decades of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, the Turkish opposition looked one step closer to defeating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections. Erdogan appears to be struggling in recent months. According to current polls, he is even with his main rival, Kemal Kultidalor. He is the leader of Turkey’s oldest political party, the secular Republican People’s Party (CHP), founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Much of Erdogan’s loss of support stems from the worsening economic situation since 2021, followed by the devastating February 6 earthquake that killed at least 44,000 people in Turkey alone. The cause is the government’s customer-oriented, profit-oriented urbanization policy and poor response to emergencies. response.

Kurchidaroor, 74, is soft-spoken and lacks the charisma of Erdogan, but he is an astute economist and former civil servant (in charge of social security). His profile resembles many civil servants of the nationalist and secular left who were the backbone of the Turkish state until being phased out by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has been in power since 2002. .

Importantly, the CHP leaders are Alevi, of modest origin, with Alevi in ​​eastern Turkey’s Tunceli province being the majority. The Alevi minority adheres to a peculiar form of Islam with its heretical faith and its own prayer house, and over the centuries numerous sectarian attacks (especially from his 1937 after his 1938 Delcim Rebellion). Erdogan, a Sunni with conservative religious leanings, has repeatedly denounced the Alevi ceremony for further polarizing Turkish society. Always downplaying his background, Kruchidaloolu, still sensitive in Turkey today, released a video on Twitter on April 19 titled Alevi. In it, he directly appealed to Turkish youth that it was time to tackle “a very sensitive subject.” The video went viral with 73 million views on its first day.

Kılıçdaroğlu became widely known to the public for the first time(…)

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(2) Ezgi Akin, “Turkey’s Kirikda Roglu Gains Record Attention in Alevi Video,” Almonitor, April 20, 2023.

(Four) CHP, Democratic Progressive Party (DEVA), Future Party (Gelecek Partisi), Democratic Party (DP), Good Party (İYİ Parti), Felicity Party (Saadet Partisi).

(Five) AKP, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Grand Unity Party (BBP), New Welfare Party (YRP), Freedom Party (HÜDA-PAR).

(6) See Aurélien Denizeau, “Les coalitions politiques en Turquie à la veille des élections de 2023” (Turkish Political Coalition on the Eve of the 2023 Election), International Institute of French Relations (IFRI), April 2023.

(8) Jamie Dettmar: “Erdogan in Turkey will be hard to get rid of,” Politico, quoted March 18, 2023

(9) Asr Ayduntaşvas, “Letters from Istanbul: Turkey Faces Difficult Years to Come,” Brookings, 4 April 2023, Available here. Turkey’s future is in the balance, by Ariane Bonzon (Le Monde Diplomacy)

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