Today, we are publishing the second installment of our Elections 2023 Reports. With news reports published in English every week until the May 14 Elections, we aim to inform our readers in Turkey and in the Diaspora about the latest developments regarding LGBTQI+ and the elections in Turkey. We hope our reports will highlight various achievements of LGBTQI+ individuals and organizations in the field of politics while establishing an archive of the 2023 Elections. Please feel free to share these reports with your friends, families, and colleagues who are looking for more information on the upcoming elections and LGBTQI+ in Turkey.
More than 30,000 thousand women in shelter homes are expected to avoid voting because they don’t want to disclose their current address to their abusers.
Yeşil Sol Party (Green Left Party), the only umbrella party to openly support the LGBTQI+ rights in Turkey, released its elections program. Some of the items in the program are economic development, freedom of speech, protective environmental policies, restoring women and LGBTQI+ rights, child protection, democratization, opening state buildings for vulnerable groups’ use, peace-forward foreign policy, and judicial independence.
Saadet Party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu, one of the parties at the Table of Six—the largest coalition against Erdoğan—targeted LGBTQI+ people in his last speech. His justification for his discriminatory discourse was the baseless claim that LGBTQI+ people are bad influences on heterosexual families.
Bullets hit the window of the İstanbul Headquarters of İyi Party, the second largest party of the Table of Six. The shooter was immediately caught but released the next day. The İyi Party considers the incident as an attack since it happened two days after President Erdoğan threatened the İyi Party’s leader Meral Akşener in a public speech. The party defined the release of the suspect as “unlawfulness,” similar to the unresolved assassination of the former leader of Turkish Grey Wolves, the ultranationalist paramilitary youth group.
The Supreme Council of Elections have declared that 4 candidates qualified for the Presidential election and they will appear on the ballot in this order: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Muharrem İnce (former CHP candidate for president in 2018), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (the candidate of the Table of Six), and Sinan Oğan (candidate of the ultra-nationalist, anti-immigrant coalition). Appeals to disqualify Erdoğan from the race because he is running for a third term were rejected by the Council.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s campaign is in full swing with the slogan “Spring will come again.” He met Muharrem İnce, but the meeting did not produce a decision to cooperate against Erdoğan as some hoped. He also declared a six-month plan to restore women’s rights in the country if he wins. Kılıçdaroğlu met with former President Abdullah Gül, a former AKP leader who is now a critic of Erdoğan’s regime.
Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of MHP, which is the second largest party in AKP’s coalition, declared that each party in the coalition will have its own list of MP candidates. It is expected that only Hüda Par, which wants to end mixed-gender education, will have its candidates in AKP’s lists.