In the wake of a May 2007 presidential election crisis and subsequent political stalemate -- punctuated by massive public rallies and intervention by both the judiciary and the military -- Turkey called for early parliamentary elections to be held in July 2007. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which consolidated its hold on various levers of power in the years following the 2002 elections, has long sought to further solidify its position. What are its prospects for doing so? And what effect might the ongoing political turmoil have on Turkey's stability and its relationship with the United States?
In this Research Note, Soner Cagaptay and H. Akin Unver dissect the political, economic, military, and cultural issues most relevant to the July 2007 elections. Given the multitude of controversial factors at play -- from internal wrangling at all points on the political spectrum, to potentially far-reaching constitutional changes, to the possibility of action on hot-button issues like PKK terrorism from northern Iraq -- the aftermath of these elections stands a significant chance of stoking further instability. The authors offer concrete recommendations that can help Turks and U.S. policymakers alike navigate the uncertain political seas ahead.
*Includes a detailed province map showing Turkey's six main voting regions