May 11, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Zoom Webinar

Turks will go to the polls on May 14 to elect a new parliament and president, with early voting already underway at polling sites abroad. The incumbent leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will face his most difficult challenge in two decades. What do the polls tell us? What is the mood on the ground? What are parties doing to secure the ballot box? To address these questions and more, please join Gönül Tol, Director of MEI’s Turkey Program, for a discussion with scholars Seren Selvin Korkmaz, Can Selçuki, and Murat Somer. 

Seren Selvin Korkmaz
Co-founder and Executive Director, IstanPol Institute; Lecturer & Doctoral Researcher, Stockholm University; Marshall Memorial Fellow, German Marshall Fund; Non-Resident Scholar, Middle East Institute

Can Selçuki
General Manager and Board Member, Istanbul Economics Research & Consultancy

Murat Somer
Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Koç University, Istanbul

Gönül Tol, moderator
Director, Turkish Studies Program; Senior Fellow, Black Sea Program, Middle East Institute

Detailed Speaker Biographies 
Seren Selvin Korkmaz
Seren Selvin Korkmaz is a political analyst, co-founder, and executive director of the IstanPol Institute, an Istanbul-based think tank. Additionally, she is a Non-Resident Scholar with MEI’s Turkish Studies Program. Her research interests include populism, political parties, voter perception, election strategies, opposition parties in autocratic regimes, and youth politics. She regularly appears as a political commentator both in Turkish and international media, reflecting on ongoing politico-economic developments and discussions. 

Can Selçuki
Can Selçuki is the general manager of the company Istanbul Economy Research, which carries out market research and big data analysis. In this role, he established, which aims to democratize and make accessible public opinion polls and data in Turkey. Prior to that, he was an economist at the World Bank Ankara office, where he worked for the public and private sectors in Turkey and Azerbaijan, focusing on regional development, competition, and innovation policies. 

Murat Somer
Murat Somer is a professor of political science and international relations at Koç University, Istanbul. He is an expert on polarization and depolarization, religious and secular politics, ethnic conflicts, autocratization, and democratization. He is a regular contributor and advisor to Turkish and international media, civil society, and political parties.

Gönül Tol
Gönül Tol is the founding director of the Middle East Institute’s Turkish Studies Program and a senior fellow for the Black Sea Program. She has written extensively on Turkey-U.S. relations, Turkish domestic politics and foreign policy, and the Kurdish issue, including in her latest book, Erdoğan’s War: A Strongman’s Struggle at Home and in Syria. She is a frequent media commentator.

Image by Anadolu Agency via Getty Images