Erdogan Just Committed Political Suicide
By overturning an election in Istanbul, he may have triggered a Turkish Spring.
BY HENRI J. BARKEY | MAY 10, 2019, 2:20 PM
On March 31, Turkey’s Supreme Election Council annulled the Istanbul municipal elections in which the opposition had defeated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The decision was not a surprise. For more than a month, AKP stalwarts as well as the Turkish press, which is almost completely dominated by Erdogan, had been laying the groundwork for this reversal by claiming irregularities and alleging all kinds of mischief by ballot handlers. And this is not the first time that the AKP has resorted to chicanery to get the electoral results it wanted. In the 2017 constitutional referendum, which replaced a parliamentary system with the current presidential one, Erdogan managed to reverse a defeat at the polls through last-minute ballot stuffing and other means of cheating.
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