FO° Live Turkey

Flag of Turkey. Turkish general election 14 may 2023 © Svet foto/

Online Event
Online Event
June 12, 2023

FO° Live: Make Sense of Turkey’s Important 2023 Elections

Date and Time :

June 12, 2023 12:00 pm - EST

Date and time

June 12, 2023 12:00 pm - EST
FO° Live Turkey

Flag of Turkey. Turkish general election 14 may 2023 © Svet foto/


Fair Observer
Ali Demirdas

Ali Demirdas is a former Fulbright scholar who earned a doctorate in political science from the University of South Carolina and has since worked as an academic and writer.

Fair Observer
Nathaniel Handy

Fair Observer
Tulin Daloglu

Tülin Daloğlu is a journalist based in Washington, D.C who writes for Turkey‘s Habetürk. She previously worked for the Washington Times and the BBC.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been in power for 20 years. He is all-powerful and is reshaping the country in his image. A key part of Erdoğan’s agenda is to reshape the state that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk created at the end of World War I. This time, the opposition united to defeat Erdoğan. It failed. What happens now?

The Back Story

Ataturk was a soldier who created a staunchly secular state after banishing the caliphate in 1924. Until then, the Ottoman sultan was the nominal leader of the Sunni world. Ataturk sought to make Turkey a modern nation state. His reforms included a ban on polygamy, adoption of a new Latin-based alphabet and introduction of Western laws. 

Over time, the military emerged as the most haloed institution of the Kemalist state and developed a taste for power. In 1980, the military took charge after a third coup d’état. This regime banned women from wearing headscarves in public. Erdoğan revoked that ban and has rolled back Kemalist secularism.

Supporters see Erdoğan as a great democratizer who has tamed Turkey’s military.  In 2016, Erdoğan survived a coup attempt and has since established control over the military. Opponents see the president as a strongman who looks back instead of forward. They blame him for Turkey’s terrible economy and poor relief efforts after the earthquake this year.

What Happens Next?

During the recent elections, Turkey’s fractious opposition fought under one banner. Yet  Erdoğan led his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to victory. Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) and other motley coalition members, including the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), tasted bitter defeat in a closely contested election.

With the Russia-Ukraine War in full swing, Turkey’s strategic location, cheap weapons and political ambition make it extremely important. Turkey has been blocking Sweden’s entry into NATO even as it keeps some sort of peace in Syria and counters Iran. Turkey also allows Europe to keep a lid on a potential refugee crisis even as its economy is in a deep crisis.

What happens in Turkey has a major bearing on the world. Make sense of what is going on, why is it happening and what lies ahead through this rich FO° Live panel discussion.

For more than 10 years, Fair Observer has been free, fair and independent. No billionaire owns us, no advertisers control us. We are a reader-supported nonprofit. Unlike many other publications, we keep our content free for readers regardless of where they live or whether they can afford to pay. We have no paywalls and no ads.

In the post-truth era of fake news, echo chambers and filter bubbles, we publish a plurality of perspectives from around the world. Anyone can publish with us, but everyone goes through a rigorous editorial process. So, you get fact-checked, well-reasoned content instead of noise.

We publish 2,500+ voices from 90+ countries. We also conduct education and training programs on subjects ranging from digital media and journalism to writing and critical thinking. This doesn’t come cheap. Servers, editors, trainers and web developers cost money.
Please consider supporting us on a regular basis as a recurring donor or a sustaining member.

Support Fair Observer

We rely on your support for our independence, diversity and quality.

Will you support FO’s journalism?

We rely on your support for our independence, diversity and quality.

Donation Cycle

Donation Amount

The IRS recognizes Fair Observer as a section 501(c)(3) registered public charity (EIN: 46-4070943), enabling you to claim a tax deduction.

Break free from the media monopolies. Get your news from independent voices.

Unique Insights from 2,500+ Contributors in 90+ Countries