December 16, 2022
9:00 am - 5:00 pm


National Press Club
529 14th St NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20045 (Map)

Turkey will hold presidential and parliamentary elections in mid-2023, amid a deepening economic crisis, growing anger toward millions of refugees unable to return to war-torn Syria, and growing alienation of Turkish youth from the governing regime. The Turkish opposition has managed to capitalize on the country's problems to appeal to a larger constituency, but President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's latest steps might undermine the opposition's chances and bolster his prospects. What is the opposition's strategy to beat Erdoğan? What is Erdoğan's strategy to extend his 20-year rule? Will foreign policy have an impact on the parties' electoral prospects? Will Turkey's economic crisis get worse ahead of the critical vote?

The Middle East Institute held a full day of panels addressing these questions and more at the 11th Annual Turkey Conference, presented by MEI's Turkey Program. The conference was held at the National Press Club on December 16. 2022. 

Conference Agenda

Welcome Remarks 

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James Knox Holman
Board of Governors, Middle East Institute 

Gönül Tol
Director, Turkey Program, Middle East Institute 


Panel I: MPs on Turkey's make or break elections

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Ünal Çeviköz
Member of Parliament, Republican People's Party (CHP) 

Hişyar Özsoy
Member of Parliament, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) 

Kani Torun
Secretary-General, Future Party (GP) 

Gönül Tol (moderator)
Director, Turkey Program, Middle East Institute 


12:30pm - 1:30pm EST | Panel II: Will Turks vote with their pocketbooks? 

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Gülçin Özkan
Vice Dean (Staffing); Professor of Finance, King's Business School in London

Atilla Yeşilada
Turkey Country Analyst, GlobalSource Partners 

Bilge Yılmaz
Chairman, Economic Policy Team, Good Party (İYİ)

Ömer Taşpınar (moderator)
Professor, National War College


Panel III: Will foreign policy shape the elections?

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Volkan Bozkır
Member of Parliament, Justice and Development Party (AK Party), President of the UN 75th General Assembly

Cengiz Çandar
Columnist, Al-Monitor; Senior Associate Research Fellow, Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI)

Selim Koru
Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI); Analyst, Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV)

Ömer Önhon
Former Turkish Ambassador to Syria

Hümeyra Pamuk (moderator)
State Department correspondent, Reuters

Photo by Rita Franca/NurPhoto via Getty Images