2023 Turkish Presidential Election Ballot refers to a series of memes centered around a ballot for a Turkish election with the left side showing current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the right side showing a character or item of the creator's choosing. The ballot is ticked for the thing on the right, indicating that the memer would vote for literally anything over Erdogan.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has held power in Turkiye, as Prime Minister and then as President, since 2003. At first democratically elected, Erdogan continually made attempts to amend the constitution and cement his power. Following an attempted coup in 2016, he instituted a series of reforms and consolidated more power in his own hands.
Many of those opposed to Erdogan, both within Turkiye and abroad, have taken to the internet, and the Presidential Election Ballot meme might be seen as a commentary on the increasing lack of options offered by the Turkish political system, and about personal dislike of Erdogan.
An early instance of the meme was posted (seen below) to Twitter in 2014 by @FannibalTurkey, receiving 23 likes and 10 retweets over eight years. In that meme, which features a different format than the majority of later Presidential Ballot memes, Hannibal Lecter is selected instead of Erdogan or any of the other candidates.
Turkish Presidential Election Ballot memes spread most widely in 2023.
A May 14th, 2023 meme by opposition press outlet @solcugazette, which showed the text "I don't even care anymore" as the selected option not he right, earned over 6,448 likes over the course of a year, and hundreds of replies, many of which included further variations of the meme.
An October 24th, 2023 post (seen below) by Twitter user @tyfnozdl earned almost 10,000 likes and over 400 retweets over the course of two years. It shows a voter choosing a bag of chips over President Erdogan.
The next Turkish Presidential Election will be held on May 14th, 2023. Erdogan is the only candidate so far announced.
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