At stake in this election:
- The office of the President
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Abdullah GUL *
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN**
- Assembly: Turkey has a unicameral Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkey Buyuk Millet Meclisi) with 550 seats
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by absolute majority vote through a two-round system to serve a 5 year term.
- The Prime Minister is appointed by the President
- In the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi) 550 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms.***
* President Abdullah GUL has announced he will not run for re-election.
** Prime Minister ERDOGAN’s party, the Justice and Development Party / AKParti (AKP) came to power in 2002 and has lasted longer than any government since Turkey adopted a multiparty democratic system in 1950.
** There are 79 MMD corresponding to the provinces. Each party must clear a national threshold of 10 percent and at least one D’Hondt quotient in the district from which it is elected. Additionally, a candidate may be seated only if his party is organized in one-third of districts within each of half of the provinces, and has nominated two candidates for each seat in at least half of provinces.
- Having served three-terms as Prime Minister, ERDOGAN is unable to run for re-election by his party’s internal rules and his presidential bid may serve to consolidate his power as President. Previously, the President of Turkey was a ceremonial post, but ERDOGAN has in recent years pushed to strengthen the power of the presidency. In 2007, as the result of a constitutional referendum almost 70 percent of Turkish citizens voted in favor of allowing the President to be directly elected by voters, rather than by parliament.
Political entities in this electoral race:
- Candidate: Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN
- Party: Justice and Development Party (AKP)
- Seats won in last election:
- Candidate: Ekmeleddin IHSANOGLU
- Candidate: Selahattin DEMIRTAS
- Party: People’s Democratic Party (HDP)
- Seats won in last election: 27
- Abdullah GUL was the last president elected by members of the parliament or Grand National Assembly of Turkey. As outlined in a 2007 constitutional amendment, this will be the first directly elected presidential contest in the history of Turkey.
Population and Voter Registration:
- Population: 81,619,392 (July 2014 est.)
- Registered Voters: 50,189,930 (2011 est.)
 Political entities include political parties, citizens’ initiative groups, coalitions and independent candidates.
 IHSANOGLU was formerly the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and joint candidate of two of the AKP’s largest opposition groups the Republican Peoples Party (CHP) and the National Action Party (MHP). Both the CHP and the MHP are uniting behind IHSANOGLU to balance the AKP. In the 2011 parliamentary election the Republican Peoples Party won a total of 135 seats (26%) and the National Action Party won 53 seats (13%).