Turkey’s election: a case for cautious optimism?
Turkish parliamentary and presidential elections will take place this Sunday amid a febrile political and economic climate. In recent months, the country has been grappling with double-digit inflation, a pressured lira and fears over the independence of its central bank. As voters prepare to go to the polls, we assess the investment landscape in Turkey.
Turkey is no stranger to political instability. On Sunday, Turks will go to the polls for the sixth time in four years, and for the second time under emergency law after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan brought forward the election by 18 months. The move, Erdogan said, reflects the country’s need to “overcome uncertainty”, but critics argue he wants to push through the vote before the country’s economic woes get materially worse.
In Turkey, polls are quite unreliable, but for now it looks like Erdogan will win the presidential race. However, it is likely that his victory will only be sealed in the second round run-off, which will take place on 8 July, should no candidate receive an outright majority this weekend.
The parliamentary election, however, looks too close to call. There is a risk that Erdogan’s ruling AK Party and the nationalist MHP party will not retain a parliamentary majority after Sunday’s vote. But success for the opposition will probably make it more difficult to pass much-needed fiscal and structural reforms. Such an outcome would cause more uncertainty for the country and investors, and increase the likelihood of further elections.