Year of Elections: Why Turkey’s municipal vote will direct the country’s political future

AKP and CHP propose contrasting paths for the nation's direction

Turks will head to polls for the municipal elections that will take place on Sunday, March 31 in a vote that will direct the country’s political direction.

Less than a year ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a third term in office until 2028. It will likely be his last, unless he pursues a constitutional reform to allow him to run for another term.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the largest opposition party Republican People’s Party (CHP) present two very different visions for Turkey: the former's vision is one that continues to reshape the republic in Mr Erdogan’s image – more conservative, more nationalist and with a greater role for religion in public life. The latter presents an alternative aiming to reshape the republic into something the opposition says is closer to what its founder envisioned: more secular and cosmopolitan.

In this episode of the Year of Elections podcast series, we delve into the upcoming Turkish elections, the significance they hold for the country's political landscape and the contrasting visions each party presents for Turkey's future.

Join host Sulaiman Hakemy, The National's opinion editor, in conversation with David Lepeska, an author and journalist, who is also the Turkish and Eastern Mediterranean affairs columnist at The National.

Updated: March 25, 2024, 10:17 AM