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The End of the Erdogan Era?

Turkey's Strongman May Have Engineered His Own Downfall

Erdogan at a rally in Nigde, June 2018. Reuters

On Sunday, Turks will go to the polls in both presidential and parliamentary elections. They will be the first elections since last April’s constitutional referendum, which endowed the office of the presidency with considerable powers and freed it from most checks on its authority.

For the nearly half of the electorate that supports the opposition, the stakes could not be higher: these elections may be the last chance to defeat Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s strongman president, and prevent a total collapse of Turkish governing institutions.

Although Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) remain the heavy favorites to win, they are more vulnerable now than they ever have been. Erdogan’s base has narrowed, and after four elections in the past five years, the electorate is exhausted. For the first time in a decade, the AKP has lost control over the narrative and failed to

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