As Recep Tayyip Erdoğan emerges as the winner of Turkey’s presidential elections, we examine what this means for the country, the region and the world. By Neil Melvin, Maryna Vorotnyuk and Ziya Meral in The Royal United Services Institute on May 31, 2023. Listen to the podcast here.
Erdoğan’s victory hardly came as a surprise. He had almost won in the first round, gaining 49.51% of the vote compared to 44.8% for Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the 74-year-old retired civil servant leading the Republican People’s Party in alliance with other opposition movements. But ahead of the vote, there had been a real sense that Erdoğan faced a tough re-election battle, given Turkey’s skyrocketing inflation and the inadequate response to the earthquakes that devastated the country in February.
In this episode, host Neil Melvin talks to Dr Maryna Vorotnyuk, Associate Fellow at RUSI, and Dr Ziya Meral, Senior Associate Fellow at RUSI, about the impact of this victory. Why did Erdoğan win? Will Turkey stick to what Erdoğan calls a ‘balanced policy’ between NATO and Russia? And how close to China is Turkey prepared to move?