Turkish Presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu makes pledges for his first 100 days in power amid a difficult economic situation in Turkey.
Turkish presidential candidate and Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu announced on April 13 his political program for the first 100 days in power if he got elected as President of Turkey.
Kilicdaroglu’s election slogan during this election has been “I promise you, Spring will come again!”
In the newly published brochure, Kilicdaroglu stated, “On May 14th, the government will change in Turkey,” adding “Together we will build a prosperous, fair, and democratic Turkey where everyone gets their due, with radical innovations in every field from economy to democracy, justice to security policies.”
Kilicdaroglu made a series of pledges some of which included Turkey’s return to the biannual daylight saving time, tax and insurance reduction, and implementing a merit-based recruitment system for all levels of public servant employment.
On the economic front, the candidate has also made some promises such as subsidizing fertilizer costs for farmers, reducing or eliminating tax burdens on diesel used by the agriculture sector, allowing for use of discounted electricity by farmers, in addition to prioritizing small businesses across Turkey through the founding of a new special department as part of the changes to be made to the Trade Ministry.
Moreover, Kilicdaroglu highlighted that a “Ministry of Urban Planning and Disaster Management” will be established and a special law drafted for the earthquake-stricken region in Turkey.
In a similar vein, the presidential candidate also pledged a new funding program titled the “New Beginnings Fund” will be launched to assist divorced women.
Both Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections will take place on May 14. Kilicdaroglu, the presidential candidate of the opposition alliance, will be Erdogan’s main opponent.
Current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing the biggest challenge to his 20-year rule due to economic issues and the high cost of living, not to mention that victims of the earthquake are reconsidering where their loyalties lie after the disaster struck.
The elections will not only decide who will lead Turkey, but they will also decide which direction Turkey’s economy will take.
Turkey’s economy struggles to stay above water ahead of May elections
When Erdogan took office 20 years ago, Turkey’s economy was barely just recovering from the 2001 economic crisis but quickly spiraled upwards into growth by tackling poverty and reaching upper-middle-income status, per the World Bank.
The country’s GDP per capita jumped from $3,600 when he took office to approximately $12,600 ten years later, but it took a turn for the worst when it started plunging downwards, especially following the Covid-19 pandemic, US sanctions, the global economic collapse, and the devastating February 6 earthquakes.
Erdogan began slashing interest rates to keep investment cheaper and growth more possible, but after inflation started running wild by hitting an estimated 85% annual rate late last year, the president was keen on keeping interest rates low to attract more growth. Unfortunately, that came at the price of the Turkish lira which plummeted gravely.
During an interview for 24 TV last week, Erdogan said, “We’re preparing to further strengthen our economic policies in the period ahead,” adding that “a team under the coordination of [former finance minister] Mehmet Simsek, who participated in the economy’s management for years, is making preparations to that end.”