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ALM Special

Turkey Elections: Elders still committed to Erdogan, but are their children?

The children of some Erdogan loyalists defy their parents’ political preferences and say they would vote for his rival.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu (C), Chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and presidential candidate, takes pictures with children outside the Anitkabir at the Mausoleum of founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, during the celebration marking the 103th anniversary of the foundation of Grand National Assembly, National Sovereignty and Children's Day in Ankara, on April 23, 2023. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP) (Photo by ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)

ISTANBUL — With only hours to go until Turkey’s historic elections on Sunday, older generations and loyalists of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are having a hard time convincing the youth to support their revered candidate.

One sunny afternoon this week, two women were sitting on a bench overlooking the Bosporus in Istanbul’s Uskudar neighborhood, an Erdogan stronghold, as their conversation revolved around one of the most heated topics ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14: inflation. 

“The price of one diaper used to be half a lira, now it's 6 liras. I have to count how many diapers I put on my baby each day, and try to keep the same diaper on for longer — that’s not healthy,” Bedia told Al-Monitor. 

“This is the only way we can socialize these days," she added, as they drank tea from their flasks and ate homemade cake.

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