Turkey’s 2023 elections: What do the polls say?

Turkey is set to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in mid-2023 amid a deepening economic crisis, growing anger at millions of refugees unable to return to war-torn Syria, and a growing alienation of Turkish youth from the government regime.

As the election campaign ramps up, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rivals are rising sharply in the polls. But how credible are these polls? What do they say about the larger societal dynamics that might be at play in the elections? What are the most important issues in the minds of voters? To answer these questions and more, please join an expert panel discussion moderated by Gönül Tol, Director of Turkic Studies at the Middle East Institute.


Emre Erdogan
Professor, Istanbul Bilgi University

Can Selçuki
Co-Founder, Istanbul Economy

Osman Sert
Research Director, Panoramatr Turkey

Gönul Tol, moderator
Turkey Program Director; Senior Fellow, MEI

Detailed speaker biographies

Emre Erdogan
Prof. Emre Erdoğan has been teaching social statistics and advanced research methods at Istanbul Bilgi University since 2005. He is Acting Head of the International Relations Department. After earning his PhD in Political Science from Bogaziçi University, he worked as a researcher and senior consultant on various projects in academia and civil society. His main research interests are political participation, foreign policy and public opinion, well-being of children and young people, and methodology and statistics. He examines Syrian refugee youth in Turkey with regard to their social, educational and economic integration. He also works extensively on othering, polarization and populism and publishes regularly on these topics.

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Can Selçuki
Can Selçuki holds an MSc in Economics from Bocconi University. Before co-founding Istanbul Economy, a public opinion and big data company, Can was an economist at the World Bank office in Ankara, working with both public and private partners in private sector development. His work at the World Bank focused on regional development, competition and innovation policy. Before joining the World Bank, Can worked for three years as an economic researcher at the Brussels think tank Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS). He is the author of several articles and reports on trade competitiveness, regional development and innovation policy in Turkey. In addition, he is a frequent commentator on Turkey and the region in print and visual media such as BBC World, FT and Foreign Policy, and regularly writes about Turkey’s economy and politics in Turkish and international print media.

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Osman Sert
Osman Sert is Research Director at Panoramatr Turkey. As a journalist, he covered Turkey’s economy, Prime Minister’s Office and diplomacy, conducted several interviews with world leaders and ministers, and regularly traveled to various conflict zones around the world. He was diplomatic editor at CNN Türk and Jerusalem Bureau Chief of TRT. He was chief adviser to Ahmet Davutoğlu, former Turkish Foreign Minister (2009-2014) and Prime Minister (2014-2016). Sert is a frequent commentator on Al Jazeera, the BBC and other international media. He is also the editor of perspektif.online, a Turkish university website, and a columnist for Karar daily. He graduated from the International Relations program at Middle East Technical University.

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Gonul Tolmoderator
Gönül Tol is Founding Director of the Middle East Institute’s Turkey Program and Senior Fellow of the Frontier Europe Initiative. She is also an Associate Professor at the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University. After three years of field research in Germany and the Netherlands, she wrote her dissertation on the radicalization of the Turkish Islamist movement Milli Gorus in Western Europe. Previously, she was an associate professor in the College of International Security Affairs at National Defense University. She has taught courses on Islamist movements in Western Europe, Turkey, world politics and the Middle East. She has written extensively on Turkish-US relations, Turkish domestic and foreign policies, and the Kurdish issue. She is a frequent media commentator.

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