General elections in Turkey may be rescheduled to spring
This is problematic because the change of date will leave the opposition less time to select their candidate.
Turkish political leader of the National Movement Party (MHP) and long-time supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Devlet Bahceli, said on Sunday that this year's general elections may be rescheduled to Spring instead of June 18 this year.
This is problematic because the change of date will leave the opposition less time to select a common candidate
"The countdown to elections has begun. The spring season will at the same time be an election season," Bahceli said at a press conference in Ankara on Sunday.
The Turkish leader reiterated that he and his party were ready for the elections and that he is confident he would win. He added that the Turkish people will decide their own fate in the upcoming general elections and will be 'tested' with respect to the kinds of challenges they will be faced with.
Bahceli further made mention of six opposition parties that have yet to name a common candidate.
They were "caught up in the turmoil of a crisis," Bahceli said, adding that each of the parties had a "hidden agenda" and they were searching for "a puppet whose strings they can pull."
Read more: After video of Erdogan on ropes, Ankara summons Swedish Ambassador
The Turkish presidential election is set to take place soon this year and is anticipated to be the most polarized this new year, determining the fate of 85 million citizens in the nation of 3 continents: Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Although the election is a few months away, Erdogan's conservative Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, or AKP), which came to power in 2002, may face a difficult challenge.
The country is already dealing with high inflation and a depreciation of the Turkish lira against the US dollar.
The AKP is barely passing 30% of popular support, according to recent polls in Turkey. Despite that, Erdogan is still amping up preparations to enter Syria and dissolve Kurdish militias, which Turkey views as tied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas.
He has also threatened to strike its NATO ally Greece over the regional disputes of Cyprus, alleged “militarization” of Greek islands, and expansion in the Aegean Sea.
Erdogan's government has likewise in recent years adopted a more autocratic stance against his critics.
On October 14, 2022, the parliament of Turkey announced it adopted a law that would jail journalists and social media critics for up to three years over charges of spreading "disinformation".
The law was initially proposed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and was voted with the high majority and support of the AKP ruling party, as well as its ultra-nationalist allies, the MHP party.
Several MPs, European countries, and media rights activists tried to prevent the voting of the legislation due to its infringement on freedom of speech.
The law's Article 29 states that those who spread false information online about Turkey's security to "create fear and disturb public order" will face a prison sentence of one to three years.
Read more: Turkey aims to boost domestic missile range, president pledges