High stakes in Turkey's poll

Posted by: The Conversation

Date: Thursday, 11 May 2023

Turkish citizens head to the polls on Sunday to vote in an election in which the stakes have never been higher. The incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has dominated Turkish politics since coming to power in 2003, is fighting for his political survival. The man challenging him – backed by a six-party alliance - is Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, a soft-spoken retired bureaucrat. Balki Begumhan Bayhan sets out how finely balanced the competition is, and why so much is at stake in a country that’s seen a severe erosion of democracy over the past decade.

Tensions are running high in Pakistan following the arrest of the former premier Imran Khan by members of a paramilitary force outside an Islamabad court where he was due to face corruption charges. He has denied any wrong doing. Ayesha Jalal explains what the arrest means for the country’s volatile politics and upcoming elections.

Thousands of years after her death, Cleopatra continues to make headlines. The queen of Egypt is the subject of a new series that has started streaming on Netflix and has reignited the heated debate about her ethnicity. As leading Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson explains, ancient Egyptians couldn’t have cared less about skin colour – but they certainly cared about Cleopatra’s diplomatic skills and political savvy, factors that help explain the world’s enduring fascination with her.

Caroline Southey

Founding Editor

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu: Turkey’s opposition leader is leading in the polls, here’s what you need to know

Balki Begumhan Bayhan, Coventry University

Opposition candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is looking like he might end the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the upcoming election.

Imran Khan’s arrest: What it means for the former prime minister and Pakistan’s upcoming election

Ayesha Jalal, Tufts University

Protests took hold across Pakistan following the detention of the opposition leader and former cricket star – raising tensions in an election year.

Cleopatra’s skin colour didn’t matter in ancient Egypt – her strategic role in world history did

Toby Wilkinson, University of Cambridge

The ethnicity outcry says more about today’s preoccupations with race than ancient Egypt’s.


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