Why Turkey is Calling for “Snap Elections”

Violet Wright '20, Sports Editor

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently called for elections to be moved from November 2019 to June 24th, 2018. His reason for the snap elections is the call for a new government, one where he has more power and control over the people of Turkey. The new government would give the President power to elect the vice president, ministers, high-level officials, and judges. In addition, he would also be able to dissolve the parliament in a state of emergency, giving him complete authority. If that doesn’t remind you of a dictator, it should. His actions mimic some of the worst government officials we have witnessed in history. The conflict between Syria and Turkey could be the “state of emergency” that could cause Erdogan to dissolve parliament and take full control, which would explain his reasoning for moving up the election date. Turkish Political Analysis Etyen Mahcupyan also tells Al Jazeera that “Elections are scheduled for such a close date to today in order not to give enough time to potential serious rivals to campaign against Erdogan, and not to give enough time for the opposition to be organized for the general elections”. Erdogan is obviously worried about competition, and the people’s unrest under his government. Economic concern is also a main reason in calling for the snap election. Opposing parties have had mixed reactions towards the call. The Republic People’s Party says they are prepared for the election, although the Kurdish Democratic Party criticized the government’s action, calling the snap elections unfair and unreasonable.

Turkey has recently cracked down of the PKK and YGP, Kurdish military groups who Turkey believes was allegedly behind the attempted coup held in 2016.  Western allies have also condemned the decisions Turkey’s government has made, such as imprisoning more than 150,000 people after an attempted coup in 2016. Turkey believes these purges are in line with the rule of law, and hope that the upcoming elections will give the government more power over the “threat” of terrorists. The alliance between the United States and Turkey has become strained because of the recent event and the actions of President Erdogan, and the future of our  relationship with Turkey is uncertain.