Turkey elections 2023: Key facts and figures for Sunday's crunch vote

Turkey elections 2023: Key facts and figures for Sunday's crunch vote
Turkey is preparing for upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections this Sunday, which have the potential to mark an end to a two-decade-long era under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).
2 min read
11 May, 2023
Current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces a stiff challenge from opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu [Aziz Karimov/Getty]

Turkey is bracing itself for elections on Sunday that could bring an end to 20 years of rule by Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The current Turkish president is trying to beat back a challenge from Kemal Kilicdaroglu, from the Republican People’s Party (CHP). Polls this week have projected a narrow win for the 74-year-old opposition candidate. 

One other candidate — Sinan Ogan, from the right-wing Ancestral Alliance — is also running for the presidency, but is unlikely to make a considerable enough dent in the vote to impact the two frontrunners. Centrist Muharrem Ince pulled out of the race on Thursday.

If none of the candidates are able to clinch half the vote, a runoff between the two contenders with the most votes will take place two weeks later.

Hotly contested issues include a struggling economy, the presence of millions of refugees in the country, and the lacking response to the earthquake in February that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey alone.

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Some 64.2 million people are eligible to vote in the election, according to the Supreme Election Board (YSK). Almost 5 million of them are first-time voters.

Polls are set to open at 08:00 local time (5:00 GMT) on 14 May, and shut at 17:00 local time (14:00 GMT). Results are expected a few hours later.

Elections for the 600-seat parliament take place at the same time as the vote for the president.

Parties need to obtain 7% of votes, either on their own or in alliance with other parties, in order to enter parliament.

Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) is currently the largest party in parliament, with 285 seats. It works in coalition with the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which has 48 seats, to hold a majority.