On Sunday, June 24, Turkey will vote to decide its president and parliament with current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan running for a second term.
President Erdogan has managed to win every vote during his 15 years in power and is hoping his recently called snap election will grant him another term.
The vote is significant because after the result has been announced, new powers that had been approved in a referendum in 2017 will come into effect, giving the president an elevated role.
Presidency in Turkey was once a ceremonial role, but after tomorrow’s election will become a position of significant power.
The new powers a president will possess include:
– The power to intervene in the country’s legal system
– The power to impose a state of emergency
– Directly appointing top public officials
The role of Prime Minister in Turkey will be abolished following the election, with Mr Erdogan having previously spent two terms as Prime Minister before being voted in as President.
Mr Erdogan is backed by Islamic based Justice and Development party (ARP) and has reformed Turkey greater than any other leader.
Turkey remains in a state of emergency following a failed coup in 2016, the result of 107,000 soldiers and public servants being dismissed from their roles.
The economy is one of the main contention points during this election, with inflation having risen to more than 10 percent.
Another issue is religion, with Mr Edogan’s AKP party accepting some elements of Islamic symbols into public life, including one allowing female state employees to wear headscarves.
President Erdogan will have to achieve 50 percent of the vote to remain in power, however, if he does not he will enter a run off with the other top candidate.
This second round, which would take place on July 8, could decrease his authority or result in his defeat.
There are five rivals to Mr Erdogan, with one having to receive just over 50 percent of the vote to win the presidency.
Latest opinion polls carried out by Optimar Research Company between June 14 – June 20 reveal that Mr Erdogan currently possesses the majority, with 51.6 percent of the vote.
Fellow candidate Muharrem Ince is a Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP and current polls place him with 28 percent of the vote.
Selahattin Demirtas running for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) achieved 10.3 percent of the vote, whilst Meral Aksener for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) sat at 8.5 percent.
Bringing up the rear are candidates Temel Karamollaoglu of the Felicity Party (SP) and Dogu Perincek of the Patriotic Party with 1.1 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.
Mr Ince remains a strong rival to President Erdogan and is his main competition in the campaign for the presidency.
Staunchly opposed to Mr Erdogan are the HDP, who if they achieve 10 percent of the vote or more will keep their seats in parliament, making it harder for the AKP to achieve the majority.
With an unstable political landscape in recent years in Turkey, Sunday’s vote could drastically alter Turkey’s future.