Turkey is preparing for Sunday’s general election. Over 42 million people will be able to vote in what is being seen as one of the most important polls in the country’s recent history – a clash between new ideas and old. The ruling Islamist-rooted AK party is expected to win but with a reduced majority, well short of the two thirds of seats required to change the constitution.
It dismisses accusations that it wants to change the country’s secular system and points to its pro- business record and Western-style reforms. But Turkey’s middle-class is not convinced, perhaps giving the main opposition centre-left Republican People’s Party a chance to make in roads on the AK Party’s support.
The leadership will also be trying to woo a new generation of voters; four million young people will be casting their ballots in a national election for the first time. Swelling the opposition ranks is also the far right Nationalist Movement, the MHP. With support difficult to anticipate, the make-up of the 550-seat parliament is proving difficult for analysts to predict.