The cost of living crisis in Türkiye threatens Erdoğan’s re-election

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In his first ten years in power, Erdoğan and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party managed to maintain their voter base, made up mainly of low-income Turks and conservative Muslims, by recording strong economic growth.

However, the cost of living crisis sparked by Erdoğan’s unorthodox economic program over a period of a year and a half now has eroded his popularity, and he faced the biggest electoral challenge in his 20 years in power.

Some opinion polls show that Erdoğan’s approval rating is lower than that of his main opponent, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, ahead of the first round of voting, although the difference has narrowed recently.

The parliamentary race remains uncertain, with the opposition likely to win a slim majority.

Annual inflation has remained at more than 10% for almost five years since the general elections in 2018.

It began to rise sharply after the currency crisis in late 2021, which was triggered by a series of interest rate cuts in accordance with Erdoğan’s unconventional economic policy.

The Turkish currency lost 44% of its value in 2021 and 30% in 2022.

A total of 76% declined in Erdoğan’s second presidential term, which witnessed several currency crises due to unconventional economic policies and geopolitical developments such as the Ukraine war and the differences between Ankara and Washington.

Many pro-AKP voters still believe that only Erdoğan can fix the economy, or they blame other factors for the current situation.

Some voters aren’t so confident that the opposition will immediately ease economic concerns either.

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