The most critical city of the general elections
There are only three-and-a-half months until the general elections in Turkey: The strategic importance of a city is increasing.
And obviously the Aegean…
For instance, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s latest address to his party’s parliamentary group meeting, he said it specifically:
“From now on I will personally monitor İzmir. … We will bring İzmir to where it deserves. We will open an office of the Prime Ministry and monitor all of the activities and investments in the Aegean. We will transform İzmir into one of the biggest ports. We will set links within the whole region through Manisa, Denizli, Uşak and İzmir, and create an economic zone.”
The fact that the prime minister dedicated nearly his whole address to the parliamentary group to İzmir and the Aegean region is a very important signal.
It is known that he will make a series of openings and inaugurations in the region in May.
It is quite apparent that Davutoğlu and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials see İzmir and the Aegean as a very important priority for the general elections.
If you look at Turkey’s voting map that comes out after the local, general and presidential elections…
For the AKP to get a strong majority in the parliament or acquire the necessary majority to change the Constitution, it needs to definitely increase its votes in the Aegean. The AKP already has a definitive majority in the regions outside of the Aegean.
If it can increase its votes in the Aegean, especially in İzmir, this would be a historic peak.
That’s why Davutoğlu gives “strategic priority,” to İzmir and the Aegean.
The Demirtaş Factor
Another party that sees the strategic importance of İzmir is the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
I will not be surprised if HDP Co-Chairman Selahattin Demirtaş were to put his candidacy from İzmir.
In fact, a while ago he had talked about the importance he gives to İzmir to Gönül Soyoğul from
“We registered the highest increase of votes in İzmir during the presidential elections. The meaning of my message ‘Diyarbakır-İzmir hand-in-hand’ is this: Diyarbakır and İzmir are two progressive cities.
Progressive cities need join hands. That’s why İzmir is very important.”
It is clear that İzmir is seen as the city to carry the HDP above the electoral threshold. That’s why the HDP’s candidates for İzmir will be talked about a lot.
Many İzmir voters who used to vote for the Republican People’s Party (CHP) cast their votes for Demirtaş during the presidential elections.
This increases the importance the HDP attributes to İzmir.
The research I have been doing in İzmir tells me the HDP’s votes will seriously increase with the sympathy shown to Demirtaş.
When looked at from that angle, I am saying the HDP can give a serious surprise beyond the discussions about staying below the electoral threshold.
As a result:
The AKP, to acquire the majority to change the Constitution and for the HDP to pass the electoral threshold will focus on İzmir and the Aegean. The position of these two parties will certainly affect the CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Thus, İzmir will be the most critical city in the general elections…