Main opposition leader Ozel predicts  early elections by end-2025

Özgür Özel, the leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has said nearly half of Turkish citizens are demanding early elections and that he predicts these elections could take place within the next 18 months, Turkish press reported.  He was accused by his own camp for not pressing for early elections, when all post-local election polls show AKP lagging behind CHP; and CHP’s potential presidential candidate Istanbul mayor  Mr Ekrem Imamoglu.


The last time Turkey held presidential and parliamentary elections was May 2023, when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan secured yet another term in office. The next elections are scheduled for 2028.


In the March local elections, however, the CHP emerged as the leading party for the first time in 47 years, securing 37.7 percent of the vote, while the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), for the first time in 22 years, came in second, garnering only 35.4 percent.


The talk about early elections came to the nation’s agenda following the AKP’s election defeat on March 31, despite the fact that the main opposition CHP has not called for early polls. Özel has so far refused to make such a call, notes Turkish Minute.


Özel, who spoke to reporters following a ceremony at the parliament, said he predicts Turks will to go to the polls again in one-and-a-half years, sometime in the middle of the five years between the two general elections.


He said the CHP would not make a call for early elections based on the local election results but emphasized that the people’s demand for early elections is the determining factor.


Özel cited recent surveys as showing that the CHP is widening its lead every month while maintaining its position as the country’s first party.

“In these circumstances, we need to see whether the public wants early elections.  Every month this demand increases a little more. … Almost half of the society demands early elections now. As long as the demand for early elections increases, we will continue to promote it.”


The CHP leader also noted that it is technically not possible to hold early elections without the support of the ruling party since the votes of 360 out of 600 lawmakers are needed to go to early polls and the opposition doesn’t have this number of votes at the moment.


The CHP has 127 seats in the parliament.


Özel said if the economy remains in its current poor state, with inflation at over 75 percent, people are likely to demand early elections and vote the AKP out of office.


Over the past several years Turkey has been suffering from a deteriorating economy, with high inflation and unemployment, as well as a poor human rights record.



Ozel and Erdogan hold a balancer of terror against each other. Ozel needs AKP’s support for early elections, which will also grant lame-duck Erdogan the right to stand for elections for the third time. Erdogan wants early elections as late as possible, probably in 2027, to give Mehmet Simsek’s austerity  program, which PA Turkey calls “Economic Stabilization Program” time to achieve low inflation, without which an AKP victory is hard to fathom.

Turkish   politics will not witness horse trading between Erdogan and Ozel about the timing of early elections.  Another set of elections by end-2025 will spend the early demise of the Economic Stabilization Program, because Erdogan will have to spend and order Central Bank to cut rates in order to regain the hearts of voters.


In an ironic twist, Ozel’s prize for delaying elections beyond 2025 may be hikes to minimum wage and pension payments, which are  inflationary.


It is not known how Erdogan’s ally Bahceli will contribute to this game. He is on record for wanting Erdogan to be reelected, but his MHP and AKP don’t have to votes to enact a new constitution, which too, will automatically grant Erdogan a third term.


It is possible Erdogan and Bahceli  will go on a recruitment drive in crumbling center-right party IYIP and the three smaller conservative-Islamist parties represented in the Grand Assembly to bolster their seat number and reach 360 votes   which suffice to send a new constitutional draft to a national referendum.


Analysis by PA Turkey staff


Follow our  English language YouTube videos  @ REAL TURKEY:

And content at Twitter: @AtillaEng

Facebook:  Real Turkey Channel:


Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.