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Turkey Electoral System

The Turkish parliament, the Turkish Grand National Assembly consists of 589 deputies, who in “the same, general and free elections” every five years chosen are (Art. 67). The active voting age and, since 2017, also the passive voting age are 18 years. There is a nationwide ten percent hurdle for a party to enter parliament. This clause is linked to the argument of safeguarding the governing parties and is intended to counter the fragmentation of the party landscape. In June 2015 the pro-Kurdish party HDP succeeded in surpassing the 10% clause and entered the Turkish National Assembly with an election result of 12.7% (result in the November 2015 elections: 10.8%). In June 2018, too, the HDP reached 11.7%.

There is a compulsory choice, but this is not followed up in practice. The High Electoral Council, consisting of the judges, prepares the election and reviews its implementation. The members of this body are selected by the President himself. You determine which parties have passed the 10% barrier. The lists of these parties then take part in the so-called d’Hondt counting system. The independent candidates are also taken into account.

The President, who has great powers, is elected at the same time as Parliament. The office of Prime Minister is no longer applicable.

Last elections

According to constructmaterials, the last local elections in Turkey 2019 took place on March 31, 2019 in all 81 provinces of Turkey. In addition to mayors and district mayors, city and provincial councils as well as muhtare (mayor) were elected. As in the 2019 parliamentary election, several parties stood in alliances and in some cities and districts did not have their own candidates. The People’s Alliance is a union of the AKP and MHP, the nation’s alliance consists of the CHP and Iyi Parti. The election result, which the CHP foresaw with Ekrem Imamoglu in Istanbul as the winner, was canceled in May 2019 by the election commission at the instigation of the AKP. The CHP also won in Ankarajust ahead of the AKP. This result was not challenged. Imamoglu also prevailed in the repeat and has been mayor of Istanbul since then.

In the parliamentary elections in June 2015, with a turnout of 86%, the AKP became the strongest party again, despite significant losses, and remained a nationwide actor. With the surprising entry of the pro-Kurdish HDP into parliament, hopes for a sustainable peace process and a solution to the Kurdish question grew. The political landscape has changed, the power of parliament has been strengthened, and a further spread of power around Erdogan has only been halted. The distribution of seats(June 2015) the AKP certified 258 and the CHP 132 seats. The MHP reached 81, the surprise winner HDP 79 seats. In addition, 2 independents came to parliament. Because no government could be formed in the course of 45 days due to ideological contradictions, there were early elections on November 1, 2015, which again confirmed the AKP’s absolute majority. The AKP, as the strongest force, received 49.5%, the CHP 25.3%, the MHP 11.9% and the HDP again entered the National Assembly with 10.8%.

The parliamentary and presidential elections, which were brought forward from 2019 to 2018, were also the moment when the new system of government was implemented. The AKP formed an electoral alliance with the right-wing nationalist MHP, and on the opposition side, too, the CHP, Iyi Parti, Saadet Parti (SP) and Demokrat Parti (DP) joined forces to prevent Erdogan’s victory. A change in the electoral system made it possible for the ten percent hurdle to apply to alliances, but not to individual allies.

Erdogan won the presidential election with 52.6% and will be at the head of the state with all the powers associated with office until the symbolic year 2023. His challenger, Muharrem Ince, received 30.6% of the vote. Although in prison, Selahattin Demirtas scored 8.4%.

The AKP was the strongest party with 42.6%, followed by the CHP with 22.6%: HDP and MHP came in at over 10%. Iyi Parti and Saadet Parti complete the opposition spectrum. Overall, the parliament has become more nationalistic, but the coming together of the party alliance “Millet Ittfaki” with CHP, IYI Parti and Saadet Parti shows that political cooperation and common goals are possible across ideological borders.

Basis: Political nation concept

According to the political nation concept, the Turkish nation is a politically founded community. A common consciousness, the desire to live together in a state nation, the consistency of values, institutions and political convictions make up the nation. “To be a Turk” thus means a constitutional or civic identity regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or denomination. It is an over-identity that is defined by geographic location, language, culture and awareness of citizenship. Anyone who can say: “I speak Turkish and am a citizen of Turkey!”

In practice, however, the Turkish understanding of the nation also has cultural – i.e. ethnic – and linguistic components. In the preamble of the constitution it is stated that “no opinion or view (can be protected) that contradicts the historical and spiritual values of Turkism”. This means that there are assumptions about the culture of the group in the population that is linguistically and ethnically referred to as Turks. This turns a state nation into a cultural nation whose national culture is ethnic-Turkish. For example, Article 42 (9) of the Constitution says: “No language other than Turkish may be taught and taught in educational institutions as the mother tongue of Turkish nationals.”

This implies problematic dealing with Kurds, Alevis, who leave this cultural nation ethnically or religiously. Other minorities, such as Greeks, have a different status through the Treaty of Lausanne.

self-image of Turkey