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June 22, 2018

IS THE FIX NOT QUITE ALL THE WAY IN? Erdogan’s gamble on snap elections in Turkey could backfire.

The President faces his toughest political challenge yet, in snap elections Sunday that Erdogan himself called. Turkish voters go to the polls to elect both a president and a new parliament, and for the first time in more than a decade, they have an array of strong candidates to choose from.

Erdogan’s grandiose rallies have become an expected part of any Turkish election, but they appear to have been eclipsed Wednesday, as main opposition candidate Muharrem Ince drew what looked like the largest crowd in the elections period yet.
In the town of Izmir, hundreds of thousands of Ince supporters in a sea of red Turkish flags stretched for kilometers down a promenade on the Aegean coast, as the charismatic former high school physics teacher promised to end the nepotism of the Erdogan government.

“Erdogan is tired, he has no joy and he is arrogant,” he said.

“On the one hand you have a tired man, and on the other you have fresh blood.”

Whether he wins or loses this weekend, the damage Erdogan has done to Turkey’s political and religious culture will outlast him.