Turkey’s ruling AKP holds annual congress in preparation for upcoming elections

Turkey’s ruling AKP holds annual congress in preparation for upcoming elections

As Turkey’s economists scramble to save the country’s tumbling currency, members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets members of parliament from his ruling AK Party as he arrives a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara

Photo: Reuters/Kayhan Ozer

As Turkey’s economists scramble to save the country’s tumbling currency, members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will convene in Ankara today for their sixth grand congress.

A large portion of the party’s success is due to its nationalist rhetoric; however, recent economic turmoil in tandem with an influx of Syrian refugees may soon turn the party’s supporters against it.

Mr Erdogan has largely welcomed refugees into his country, granting more than three million access to healthcare and education. While the argument of Muslim solidarity has tempered some nationalist resentment, many blame refugees for the worsening economic conditions; the AKP already lost votes to the official nationalist MHP party in June’s election.

If the AKP is unable to stabilise to the economy, expect a backlash from the nationalists which gave them power in the first place, potentially eroding its majority come municipal elections next March. Thus, if the economy continues to falter—with the AKP’s popularity to match—Erdogan could preempt a further loss of support by calling the elections early which would prompt backlash from the opposition.

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