Dr. Ali Bakir, an expert on Turkish affairs and professor of international relations, security and defense at the Ibn Khaldun Center at Qatar University, said that voting in presidential elections usually takes place within the partisan framework but some exceptions may occur, which makes each vote important, regardless of the voter’s party affiliation. This is why there is intense competition to attract even small parties that may not have weight at the level of local politics, but they are attracted to enter alliances or support one of the presidential candidates to secure the largest possible number of votes from outside the traditional electoral bloc for all candidates, he said. Therefore, the role of small parties is important in these elections, he added.

Historical experience confirms that many opinion polls conducted by some institutions during election periods may not be accurate or even close to reality, except for some exceptions, and therefore it is difficult to consider the results of those polls, Dr. Bakir added.

He pointed out that some institutions that conduct opinion polls act according to political agendas, and thus their work becomes closer to electoral propaganda than to assessing reality.

The opposition parties, he noted, are betting on obtaining the largest number of votes in the coastal areas in addition to the main cities such as Istanbul and Ankara, while the Justice and Development Party is looking for securing the largest number of votes inside Turkiye, which is the heart of Anatolia, in addition to the major cities.

Voter turnout in all Turkish elections is among the highest in the world, which is a response to skeptics about the legitimacy of the elections results or the legitimacy of the resulting political or party formations, he added, expecting that there will be high participation regardless of the percentage that will be recorded. He pointed out that some expectations indicate that the turnout will reach 90 percent, a historic turnout if it happens.

Dr. Bakir noted that these elections are considered the strongest, most competitive, and important, explaining that estimates about the results may not be accurate at the present time, especially since there are many variables seen in these elections for the first time unlike previous times, including the form of alliances, the role of small parties, and the form of the voting process. Therefore, the results of these elections are open to all possibilities, he said.

For his part, Dr. Saeed Al Hajj, a researcher on Turkish affairs, said there is a state of polarization and great alliances in these elections. Therefore, the competition will be strong between the candidates, he said. Expecting the elections to witness a run-off, he added that they will not be decided in the first round.

Speaking to QNA, Dr. Al Hajj said that there are external parties playing a role in these elections whether they are states or organizations that want to remove Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from ruling Turkiye, but the important question is to what extent these external parties can influence these elections.

He added that the Turkish voter will eventually decide the Turkish elections. Although these external parties may have an impact on the Turkish economy or have a role in coordinating the positions of the opposition, voters will determine the winner in these elections. During previous elections, it was noticed that foreign intervention against Erdogan eventually comes in his favor because it pushed people more and more to unite behind him, he said.

Regarding the results of opinion polls in Turkiye, he said there is a problem with the companies that have been conducting these polls for many years. Most of these companies are linked to political parties, and therefore they issue results that serve the candidate they support and some of these companies are recently set up and lack the required professional tools. In addition, the Turkish public does not trust the results of these polls, he said.

Source: Qatar News Agency