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TURKEY - Report 08 Jan 2023 by Murat Ucer and Atilla Yesilada

President Erdogan kicked off the year with the mother of all pork-barreling drives to win elections. While his magnanimity is certain to stimulate the standings in the polls of him and his AKP-MHP alliance, the surge is very unlikely to last until the elections or alter the current equilibrium in polls, where his side is losing 40-60%. What shall he do next?

The main opposition gathered under the banner of the Table of Six (ToS) responded by the most comprehensive set of promises made so far, undertaking to deliver a coalition protocol, and a document outlining how power will be shared with the executive and the legislature, as well as among constituent parties by the end of month. The ToS also formally started discussions on a joint candidate, who may be announced either on January 30 or during the first half of February. Despite repeated signals of harmony, unity and determination to stay together through the elections, these declarations did little to alter the thinking among a majority of pundits that it shall fail. Will it really, or shall Turkey witness the start of the race between Erdogan and his six-party sponsored rival in February?

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