President Erdoğan tops list of major electoral issues
1) The 'non-partisan president'
More than the ruling party leader and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L), it is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R), who was supposed to be non-partisan according to the Constitution, who is slamming the election promises of the opposition parties, while also mocking and humiliating them.
Despite strong criticism from the opposition, Erdoğan continued to hold public rallies and urged voters to vote for the sake of Turkey’s future.
The Supreme Election Board (YSK) rejected appeals about Erdoğan's intervention, but
two of its members, as well as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) highlighted concerns over Erdoğan’s “active role in the campaign.” (Click here to read more)
2) The war on free speech
Journalist Can Dündar (R) and former Miss Turkey Merve Büyüksaraç (L) were among people who testified in defamation lawsuits filed by Turkish President. Erdoğan vowed that Dündar would pay a "heavy price" over a news story and his lawyer asked him to be jailed for life.
Hundreds of people, including cartoonists, students and even a model, have been prosecuted for “insulting” Erdoğan since he was elected president in August 2014. Erdoğan routinely slammed national and international outlets, threatened individual journalists, while a number of reporters have still been kept in prison.
3) It's the economy, smarty!
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has pledged to raise the minimum wage, hand out bonuses to pensioners and build an entirely new city named “Center Turkey" to boost employment and exports.
Turkey's opposition parties have changed strategy for the June 7 elections, pivoting their campaigns on the worsening economy, instead of ideology. “They have learned their lessons from the past," says Fatih Özatay, an economics professor at TOBB University in Istanbul. (Click here to read more)
4) ‘Whoever wins Turkey's election must face Kurdish reality’
This Feb 28 photo shows HDP MP Sırr Süreyya Önder (R) speaking next to Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan (L) during a meeting at the Dolmabahçe office of the prime ministry in Istanbul. AFP Photo
Due to the stalled negotiations to solve Turkey's Kurdish problem, the general election and what outcome it produces for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as well as the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) would be crucial. "Whoever wins Turkey's election must face Kurdish reality," says prominent security expert Nihat Ali Özcan. (Click here to read more)
5) Will Turkey's foreign policy change?
Khaled Mashaal, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, attended the events organized by Turkey's ruling AKP. AP Photo
When the AKP came to power it took some radical steps in terms of foreign policy.The AKP’s manifesto for the June 7 election says: “Turkey’s foreign policy has been successful in an incomparable way with those of previous governments.” Now it is being debated whether the general election results would change Turkey's foreign policy. (Click here to read an analysis)