Seeking re-election for a third term, incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 69, has focused his campaign on economic promises. In a massive rally on Sunday, he attracted a sea of supporters in Istanbul, the country's largest city.
"We'll bring inflation down to single digits and save our country from this problem," he said during the rally.
Following years of economic prosperity and fast growth under Erdogan's rule, Türkiye's economy has faltered, especially since a currency crisis in 2018.
Official statistics published on May 3 show inflation stood at 43.7 percent in April, still high but already a significant decline after it peaked at 85.5 percent in October last year.
More than 1.7M people attend Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rally in Istanbul ahead of Türkiye’s upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections due on May 14th pic.twitter.com/86CBJkzhJs
The Turkish lira fell to an all-time low against the dollar in mid-April, at 19.58 against the U.S. dollar, and is not likely to stabilize any time soon, with economists predicting further decline following the double elections.
The financial hardships Turks experience could be a determining factor in their choice of a president and parliamentary members.
"The economic situation of middle-class workers has significantly regressed in the past years," said Burcin Dedeoglu, 46, a foreign trade specialist.
Currently, around 40 percent of the workforce receives the government-mandated minimum wage which amounts to 8,500 liras (US$435) monthly, according to data released in December by the Labour and Social Security Ministry.
"I don't even remember the last time I went to the movies. We have to remain at home to cut expenses," he added.
PKK supporters in France and Belgium attacked Turkish overseas voters in an attempt to prevent them from casting their ballots for Türkiye’s upcoming general elections pic.twitter.com/ieEIr5g1Pi