İmamoğlu or Kurum? 2024 Local Elections in Türkiye


Today is another big day for Türkiye, after the presidential elections that took place on May 14, 2023. However, this time, Türkiye eagerly awaits the results of the local elections, due to its crucial role in determining the future of Istanbul, a city of immense historical and strategic importance.

The current mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, who represents the primary opposition party CHP (Republican People’s Party), is competing against the candidate from the AKP, Murat Kurum.

Why Is It Important?

The administration has not delivered on the pledges made during the 2023 elections, especially regarding economic matters. Therefore, Turkish citizens eagerly await for a “change” in hopes for a better future. 

In a recent interview with Dr. Karolina Olszowska, a Research Assistant at the Faculty of History at Jagiellonian University and the co-founder and president Institute for Türkiye Studies, shares her perspective on the local elections and which candidate is most likely to win, İmamoğlu or Kurum. From her perspective,  “it seems that Ekrem İmamoğlu will win with a slight difference of votes”. 

Dr. Olszaowska asserts that, “If the AKP had decided to put up a more charismatic candidate than Kurum, the divided opposition would not have had much of a chance, but in this case, that is what works in favor of the CHP.”

However, in Ankara there is strong support for Mansur Yavaş’s second term, but in the entire election, AKP will consolidate power. 

She further adds, “Maybe the CHP will not lose Izmir, but the even fight will mean that it will no longer be its bastion.”

What Role Does The Current Economic Crisis Play in the Local Elections?

Dr. Olszowksa suggests that the ongoing economic crisis has “already affected the presidential and parliamentary elections.” She further adds that “The crisis is worsening, and Turks are finding living increasingly challenging.”

However, the fact that “the opposition is so divided that they have no better proposal for those dissatisfied with the current government” indicates that Turks are conflicted when it comes to which party to support since neither option is better because the opposition has lacked the idea to convince voters and has shown its impermanence.”

As we eagerly await the outcome that will change Istanbul’s, Ankara’s, and Izmir’s future, Dr. Olszowska believes that due to İmamoğlu’s charismatic leadership, he will once again secure Istanbul for one more term. She also concludes a similar outcome for the other two major cities where the opposition will get to secure another term.

Aslihan Yilmaz

Aslihan Yilmaz

I find great fulfillment in continually challenging myself and embarking on exciting new projects. My particular passion lies in the realm of International Relations within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where I am dedicated to delving into the complex dynamics and developments in the area.I derive immense satisfaction from experimenting with innovative strategies to drive organic traffic, constantly seeking fresh and effective ways to engage with audiences and foster growth.

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