Turkey’s 2024 Local Elections: A Landslide Opposition Victory Amidst Economic Woes

Since Turkey’s currently governing conservative Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) came to power in 2002, no elections have shaped the country's political landscape as much as the March 2024 municipal elections. With a 78.55% participation rate, 48 million voters voted for mayors, district mayors and municipal council members. The main opposition, the Republican People's Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP), achieved its best results since 1977, facing an unlevel playing field favoring the governing AKP. In May 2023, many were perplexed as to how the opposition could not unseat the AKP amidst a severe economic crisis at the Parliamentary and Presidential voting. However, in 2024, the CHP turned the tide in the local elections. How was it possible? This analysis argues that the AKP’s inability to mitigate its voters’ exposure to the economic crisis, the emergence of a new Islamist opposition and the CHP’s successful candidate strategy contributed to the oppositional victory.  

László Szerencsés

László Szerencsés

    László Szerencsés is a Mercator-IPC Fellow at the Istanbul Policy Center. His research focuses on the foreign policy of authoritarian states, in particular Turkey and Hungary. He completed his PhD in Law and Politics at the University of Graz. His PhD dissertation explored Turkey’s foreign policy in Kosovo and Serbia (2013-2020). His work is based on extensive field research carried out in Turkey, Kosovo, Serbia, Germany and Hungary. He holds an MA in Global Political Economy from the University of Kassel, and a BA in International Relations from the Budapest Business University.


    Southeastern Europe

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