The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), allied with Ince, won 146 seats. Although it won far less seats than the AKP, analysts are noting that many voters have rallied around Ince, giving the opposition a boost. The pro-Kurdish HDP party also took 11.6 percent of the vote, passing the 10 percent threshold to enter Parliament. The result has been seen as impressive given the party’s presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas had to campaign from prison.
Erdogan’s entrenched opposition toward the Kurdish community (the largest ethnic minority in Turkey), who want greater political and cultural rights, shows no signs of changing.
Similarly, analysts say that economic problems faced by the country — the lira’s depreciation, the budget deficit, inflation at 12 percent and fears that Erdogan (who wants the central bank to lower interest rates to promote growth) could threaten the bank’s independence – could be put on the back burner as a less-confident Erdogan remains in office.
George Dyson, a Turkey analyst at consultancy Control Risks, said Monday that the outlook for Erdogan was not as rosy as it seemed from the election result.
“Further political instability is expected in Turkey despite a convincing victory for the incumbent Erdogan amid growing economic problems and widening societal tensions,” Dyson said in a note Monday.
“Erdogan was rattled by the opposition campaign and will work hard ahead of local elections in March 2019 to maintain support,” he added, a sentiment echoed by Ian Bremmer, the head of political analysis firm Eurasia Group.
Bremmer said the result was bad news for any resolution to the Kurdish problem and was also a challenge for any constructive turn in relations with the West.
“Erdogan also won’t feel confident enough to push through necessary structural reforms or go through fiscal consolidation ahead of March 2019 local elections, particularly at a time when the country will be experiencing an economic slow-down. Not much upside for this one, I’m afraid,” Bremmer said in a note Monday.