Balancing Security and Innovation: Opposition's View on Turkey's Digital Policies Notes de l'Ifri, April 2023
The upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey on May 14, 2023, are expected to be closely contested. Polls suggest that the ruling AK Party-led People’s Alliance will lose its majority in parliament, resulting in a hung lower house.
This would create an opportunity for multiparty dialogue and temporary alliances on specific policy issues, leading to legislation that is the result of multiparty bargaining rather than the agenda of a dominant party. Against this backdrop, it is crucial to understand the Turkish opposition’s views on a variety of policy issues, with digital policies being a particularly underexplored one.
At the intersection of political, economic, and technological issues, digital policies are regulations that have to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape of technological advances on a global scale. Turkey, as a regional power and an upper-middle-income economy, has attempted to take advantage of technological innovations to further promote economic growth and national security purposes. However, the AK Party government's efforts have been met with skepticism from opposition groups as they have fallen short of protecting individual rights and freedoms online.
The study is organized into four sections, with an analysis of the political situation on the eve of the upcoming elections, a description of the technological ecosystem in Turkey, an analysis of the evolution of digital policies in Turkey under the AK Party’s successive governments, and a detailed overview of the main opposition parties' digital policy positions. This study thus provides insight into the future of digital policies in Turkey and the potential impact of the upcoming elections on this pivotal issue.