Election Day in Turkey

Elections in Turkey

What is Happening Today Across Turkey?

Today across Turkey, and around the world, Turkish citizens will be deciding who will serve as President of Turkey for the next five years. Presidential elections are also a significant aspect of the Turkish electoral system. In 2014, for the first time in Turkish history, the president was elected by direct popular vote. Previously, the president was elected by the Grand National Assembly.

Turks will also be deciding the 600 members of the Grand National Assembly, Turkey’s parliamentary body. This election will prove to be of great importance not only domestically for Turkey, but also for landscape of global politics. Today the eyes of the world will be fixed on Turkey as they decide their future leaders.

What is Being Decided by This Election?

This 2023 general election will decide the President of Turkey alongside the election of the 600 members of the Grand National Assembly.

The Turkish Parliament, known as the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi), consists of 600 members who serve a four-year term.

Turkey is divided into 87 electoral districts, which correspond to the country's provinces. The number of deputies each province gets to elect is proportional to its population. Political parties prepare a list of candidates for each electoral district. Independent candidates can also run in the elections.

To gain any seats in the Assembly, a political party must obtain at least 10% of the national vote in the parliamentary elections. This is a relatively high threshold compared to many other democracies. Once the votes are counted, seats are allocated within each electoral district using the D'Hondt method, a highest averages method for allocating seats in party-list proportional representation. If a party does not pass the 10% threshold, its votes are disregarded, and the seats are distributed among the parties that did pass the threshold.

Independent candidates, who are not subjected to the 10% threshold, can also be elected. In recent years, political parties have also formed alliances to bypass the 10% threshold. Votes for alliance parties are combined, allowing smaller parties within the alliance to gain representation even if they individually did not reach the threshold.

Who are the Two Main Candidates for Turkey’s Presidency?

This year’s election features the incumbent, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey’s AK Party, challenged by CHP’s Kemal Kilicdaroglu. For more information about each candidate’s background and an overview of their platforms please see Property Turkey’s 2023 Election Primer.

Who Can Vote Today?

Turkish citizens of voting age 18 are eligible to vote in this year’s general election. Residents within Turkey report to their designated local voting station depending on their district of residence. Voters have to present a valid ID at the polling station. They are then given a stamped envelope and a number of different ballot papers corresponding to the different elections being held (national, local, or presidential). They mark their choices in private booths and place the ballot papers in the envelope.

Turkish citizens living abroad have the right to vote in Turkish elections. In general, they can do this at Turkish embassies or consulates, or at custom gates, starting a few weeks before the election day in Turkey. After casting their votes, the ballot boxes are sealed and sent to Turkey, where they are opened and counted along with the domestic votes. For citizens in Turkey who cannot go to their registered polling station on Election Day, the rules are quite strict and absentee voting inside the country is generally not allowed, except for some categories like ill or elderly people who can't physically go to the polling stations.

Are There Any Constitutional Referendums on the Ballot this Election? 

There are no constitutional referendums planned for this election in addition to the races for seats.

When Will We Learn of the Results?

The results from each polling station are reported to the district electoral board. The results are collated and the overall results for the district are reported to the provincial electoral board. These boards handle disputes and irregularities, and ultimately the provincial results are reported to the Supreme Election Board, who make the final certification of results.

Once all the results have been received and verified, the Supreme Election Board announces the results. This can take a few hours to a few days, depending on the scale of the election and any potential disputes or recounts.

If there are any disputes or challenges regarding the results, these are handled by the Supreme Election Board. The Board has the final say on all matters related to elections. There may be a recall election to be held on May 28, 2023 if no candidate achieves over 50% of the vote. In that case the candidates are then reduced down to two, depending on the results of the initial vote. Final results are then announced, some days later.

What Are the Future Ramifications on the Real Estate Market? 

This election will be one of historical importance for the future course of Turkey as a nation. For detailed insight on its possible effects on the Turkish real estate market see our 2023 Election Primer. Whomever emerges as the victor for the Presidential seat and Parliamentary seats, will no doubt have many decisions to make in the near term pertaining to Turkey’s economic, political, and social policies.

Turkey Election Day


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