2019 Turkish Local Elections Result
According to the election results, previously held by the ruling party, 2 metropolitan cities shifted to the opposition with slight gap. This led to questions like the effects of elections on the stable economy and exchange rates.
As we do not expect a sudden change in the economical status in Turkey, according to the steps taken by Ankara, economical balances may shift. It is quite early to be able to see the economical outcomes of the elections and we can only wait and see.”
2019 Turkish Local Elections
Local elections in Turkey was held today in a total of 30 metropolitan and 1,351 district municipal
mayors in addition to 1,251 provincial and 20,500 municipal councilors. After a long period of early-
elections and referendums, the local election of 2019 has the specialty of being the only “on-time and
planned” election for a long time.
The last local election was held 5 years ago on 30 March 2014 which resulted in the victory of the Justice
and Development Party (AKP).
Another specialty of the Turkish local election of 2019 is being the first election since the 15 th of June
Military Coup Attempt resulted in a stage of emergency countrywide and the first local election of the
newly assigned presidential system. This gives the elections a feeling of the vote of confidence for the
While it is certain that the elections will decide on the destination of many things in Turkey, perhaps the
most important effects will be on economics. As economists state that the main issue is actually the
damage on Turkey’s credibility in free-market principles and steps should be taken in order to rebuild
the trust. Berat Albayrak (minister of finance), on the other hand, noted their expectation of
normalization process after the elections. Albayrak mentioned a reform period once the elections are
over and a general frame of economic will be clarified by the week of 8 th of April.
Economics had always been an important element of voting in Turkey, as in every country. People tend
to vote for the party who is expected to improve their living conditions. Since 2002, when AKP became
the ruling party, the Turkish Republic gained important advantages in economics.
Turkey was ranked among “lower-middle income” group in 2002 and in one year, was upgraded to
“high-middle income”. During the last years, Turkey has been aspirant to rank among high-income
economies and announced a New Economic Program in order to achieve this aspiration.
Previous elections are examples of how the people in Turkey make their choices when it comes to
politics. Sustainability in economic improvement and its outcome provided many advantages to every
class of people, therefore ensuring success in politics for the AKP.
In 2017, Turkey had gone to a referendum for a transition of the government system. As a result, the
Turkish government system was changed from the parliamentary system of government to the
presidency system of government.
On June 24, 2018, the first election under presidentialism was held in Turkey where several political
parties formed informal, secret alliances among themselves. Those alliances made a substantial
influence on the result and set an example for today’s election.
For the March 2019 local election, parties announced broader alliances, endorsing a collaborative
candidate in many provinces. In this case, Turkey will have the chance to see how alliances affect the
voter’s choices in local elections.
AKP and MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) have formed an alliance named Cumhur Ittifaki (People’s
Alliance) while CHP (Republican People’s Party) formed an alliance with IYI Party, Democrat Party, and
Saadet Partisi to form Millet Ittifaki (Nation Alliance). Being the first election with announced alliances,
the effects of it are wondered.
Local experts stated that alliances are essential for both sides. According to experts, AKP might lose
votes because of the on-going economic crisis and not being able to produce anything new. While
uniting with MHP will strengthen MHP, it will also avoid lost votes from going to the other side, to
People’s Alliance. CHP on the other side, haven’t been able to pass 25% for the last elections and
therefore needs the alliance more than anyone.
Interaction Between Economics and the Elections
The Turkish economy achieved a great metamorphosis with dedicated growth over the last 15 years.
With macro-economic strategies and structural reforms caused by high rates of growth and increased
the trust in the Turkish economy.
World Bank issued the World Economic Outlook Report in April 2017, giving the 13 th rank in the world
and 5 th in Europe to Turkey based on purchasing power parity (PPP).
However, to protect the steady growth, Turkey needs a stable political situation. If the result of the
elections brings an early-general election together, economic problems might show up. According to
Wolfango Piccoli; losing one or two major cities will make Erdogan feel degraded. If Erdogan loses, his
party’s ability to fulfill promises will be questioned. An election lost by Erdogan may bring forward the
questions of an early election.
Turkish people are aware of this fact. For the past 15 years, the most important fact that determined the
votes of Turkish voters had been economics. Turkish people are willing voting for growth, and they are
aware if the stability goes, they might face bitter consequences.
Therefore, AKP and MHP, aka People’s Alliance, concentrated their works on metropolitan areas like
Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Bursa, and Adana. Whereas winning metropolitans meant winning the elections
as metropolitan districts provide the perception of broader trends in politics. As the maxim goes;
“Whoever controls Istanbul, controls Turkey.” As long as the part of the voters that are glad about the
economic situation is large enough, AKP will stay as the center of Turkish politics.
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