Erdogan declares victory: How does Turkey’s recent vote parallel the upcoming US election of 2024?


Zenil Koovejee

A significant number of students set to graduate in 2023 and 2024 are poised to exercise their voting rights in the upcoming presidential election, highlighting the critical role of the youth demographic in shaping the political landscape of the nation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has secured another five-year term, maintaining his two-decade dominance in the country’s politics. His combative populism and reshaping of laws to consolidate power raise ongoing concerns about Turkey’s direction and democracy.

“Erdogan’s win and the concerns about democracy remind me of the discussions surrounding the 2020 US election and fears about the erosion of democratic norms,” said Mikail Mirza (‘23).

Erdogan won with 52.14% of the vote, while his opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu received 47.86%. Erdogan declared the victory as a win for Turkey and its democracy, but the focus now shifts to the state of democracy in the country.

“Just like the concerns in Turkey, many people in the US worry about the future of democracy and the direction the country might take in the upcoming election,” said Chriag Kalugakar (’24).

Turkey’s role on the global stage as a NATO member and military power brings added significance to Erdogan’s win. However, at home, issues such as soaring inflation, sluggish earthquake response, and concerns of one-man rule continue to challenge his leadership. Critics view him as authoritarian, accusing him of curbing freedoms and allowing corruption to flourish.

“The fact that political parties and ordinary people can both suggest candidates for president makes the Turkish presidential election process fascinating in my opinion. Seeing that even regular people have a chance to become involved by collecting signatures in support of their preferred candidate is uplifting,” said Turkish student Ryder Crespo (‘24).

As the focus turns to Turkey’s future, parallels can be drawn to the upcoming 2024 election in the United States, where a potential Biden versus Trump battle looms, creating speculation and uncertainty about the direction of both nations and reminding us of the significance of these elections amidst ongoing challenges and troubled times worldwide.