Turkey's Municipal Elections: Why do they matter? A Conversation with Gönül Tol

Friday, April 19, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
William J. Perry Conference Room
Encina Hall, Second Floor, Central, C231
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305
  • Gönül Tol
Turkey's Municipal Elections

Turkey held its municipal elections on March 31, 2024. Beyond their immediate importance for local governance, addressing issues such as urban spaces and environmental challenges, these elections hold broader significance for the challenge of democracy in a nation that has been grappling with competitive authoritarianism for a while. Nowhere is this significance more pronounced than in the race for Istanbul's mayorship. Istanbul, being the commercial and cultural heart of Turkey, witnessed a landmark double victory by the opposition candidate five years ago, shaking the economic infrastructure of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s governance model. What do these elections signify for the future of democracy, at both local and national levels, in Turkey? Stanford scholars on Turkey will engage in a dialogue with Gönül Tol to explore the implications of the March 31 local elections.

This event is co-sponsored by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, the Middle Eastern Studies Forum, and CDDRL's Program on Turkey.


Gönül Tol is the founding director of the Middle East Institute’s Turkey program and a senior fellow with the Black Sea Program. She is the author of Erdoğan's War: A Strongman's Struggle at Home and in Syria. She has taught courses at George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies and at the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University on Turkey, Islamist movements in Western Europe, world politics, and the Middle East. She has written extensively on Turkey-U.S. relations, Turkish domestic and foreign policy, and the Kurdish issue. She is a frequent media commentator.