Turkish opposition outlines coalition to try to unseat Erdogan

Archive – Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – -/Turkish Presidency via APA Ima / DPA

An alliance of up to six Turkish opposition parties presented a joint political program on Monday, the first step in a possible unity bid to unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the upcoming presidential elections.

The opposition parties plan to group around the figure of a single candidate for the presidency, thus seeking a stronger option when it comes to their attempt to succeed Erdogan, at the helm of the country since August 2014. The coalition is expected to determine its head of list at a meeting on February 13, according to ‘Hurriyet’.

In the aforementioned political program, the alliance promises that, in the event of winning, it will reverse the presidentialist system in place in Turkey to establish a parliamentary democracy, strengthen the rule of law and freedom of the press, as well as limit the functions of the president.

With these changes, the Turkish head of state would cease to be a political figure and would take on a more formal role, obliging him not to belong to any political party and imposing a maximum term limit of seven years.

On the economic front, the alliance has promised to intensify the fight against inflation and to try to bring it down to a single-digit percentage figure – it currently stands at more than 60 percent – while advocating the return of independence to the Turkish Central Bank.

Thus, the opposition parties have already shown some of their cards ahead of the mid-year presidential elections in which they seek to unseat an Erdogan who has not only served as head of state since 2014, but who had previously served as prime minister since 2003.

Erdogan enacted a reform of the presidential system in 2018 with a series of radical changes–such as the abolition of the post of prime minister–and which has raised criticism not only domestically, but also from powers and international organizations.

Among the members of the aforementioned opposition coalition are Erdogan’s main rival party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), and the nationalist formation Good Party (IYI).