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Cronies in Crisis: Economic Woes, Clientelism, and Elections in Turkey

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One factor that will play a key role in how Turkey’s economic crisis translates into votes in 2023 is clientelism. Over the last twenty years, Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have developed widespread partisan patronage networks across Turkey and built clientelistic relationships with the private sector. These relationships have helped Erdoğan sustain his rule for two decades, paying him back for the favors in money, public relations, and votes. How the recent economic crisis impacts these patronage ties could determine whether Erdoğan manages to weather the storm or is tossed overboard.

Drawing on a recent POMED roundtable discussion held in partnership with the Heinrich Boell Foundation, Washington, D.C., this Snapshot presents an overview of political patronage and clientelism in Erdoğan’s Turkey and discusses how the economic crisis could affect these dynamics and voter behavior in 2023.

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Date of Publication
November 2022
Number of Pages
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Language of publication