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Five takeaways from the election of Turkey

Against the background of widespread repression and a weakened economy, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected Sunday, while his alliance won the majority in parliament.

The former prime minister, Mr. Erdogan, was elected president in 2014, and after a failed coup d'état in 2016, voters convinced the voters to change the constitution to turn the once-ceremonial work into a position of executive control of the government. Sunday's election marked a new era for Turkey, a crucial country between Europe and the Middle East.

Here is Turkey the day after the election.

Mr. Erdogan's influence on executive power is now official

In theory, Erdogan's re-election as president gives him full powers that he has never exercised before. As a result of last year's changes to the Turkish constitution, the president – not the prime minister – will be the formal head of the Turkish government. Mr Erdogan can now appoint ministers himself, issue decrees, make important judicial appointments and approve investigations of individual officials.

In practice, however, Mr. Erdogan's role will not change much as he is already informal. He has exercised far more power than his position has technically allowed, said Howard Eissenstat, a Turkish specialist in St. Lawrence. University.

For example, Mr. Erdogan has held Cabinet meetings since 2015, though this is usually Prime Minister's privilege. And few judges have dared to impose unfavorable judgments on Mr Erdogan, especially since the beginning of a purge of the judiciary, which since 2016 has led to the dismissal of around a quarter of all judges.

"I do not see that as a revolutionary," said Mr. Eissenstat. "It codifies and consolidates something that's been going on for a decade."

The election is free – but the election was not fair

With more than 86 percent of the participating Turks, the election was considered free. But international observers said that this happened under circumstances that clearly favored Mr. Erdogan.

His control of state media and his influence on most private businesses gave him "a notable advantage" for security and cooperation in Europe, according to election observers of the organization. Most opposition candidates received only a few minutes of coverage from state broadcasters, compared to hundreds of hours for Mr. Erdogan.

One of Erdogan's leading contenders, Selahattin Demirtas, was forced to jail his campaign for doing so. He was imprisoned for almost two years along with several of his lawmakers on politicized charges.

And since the elections took place under the state of emergency, strict restrictions impaired the opposition's ability to hold rallies and protests.

With more than 100,000 alleged dissidents arrested over the past two years and a similar number dismissed or suspended from their state jobs, the campaign found in one of Amnesty International's "climate of fear" amid a raid after the failed military coup described instead of 2016.

Turkey's economy could continue to weaken

Mr. Erdogan's recent economic interventions contributed to the lira's value declining – and the currency problem could worsen after he returned to office.

For most of his term of office, Mr. Erdogan was known for his strong economic management B. because of the spectacular economic growth in the 2000s

But his economic reputation weakened in May when Erdogan threatened to increase the Turkish central bank If he were re-elected, which would frighten investors, it would cause the lira to collapse, and the price of food rose.

With voters failing to punish him for his intervention, Mr. Erdogan may now be encouraged to deliver on his promise – what would be "a disaster for him" would be the lira, inflation and those who are in debt, "he said Emre Delieli, financial adviser and former columnist of the English-language Hurriyet Daily News, said, "We will face a major economic crisis in one way or another."

Turkey could get even closer to Russia

. Erdogan's victory is for the Allies problematic for Turkey in Europe and the United States.

When he came to power in 2003, Erdogan brought Turkey closer to Europe – by speeding up the accession negotiations with the European Union – and sought a historic solution to the Kurdish minority But to sustain the support of nationalist voters in recent years, he has increasingly struggles Whistled with European politicians, led a repression campaign in Kurdish areas and – to the frustration of the United States, closer to President Vladimir Putin of Russia

This momentum is likely to exacerbate by the election results, said Marc Pierini, former ambassador of the European Union in Turkey

. Erdogan's victory was partly the result of his alliance with a far-right party, the Nationalist Movement Party, with anti-Western and anti-Kurdish views that Erdogan must continue to consider.

"All of this is in the hands of Putin," said Pierini, who now works at Carnegie Europe, a Brussels-based research group.

Mr. Erdogan's victory is also bad news for the American-backed Syrian Kurdish forces that have established an independent enclave in northern Syria along the southern border of Turkey, which Mr. Erdogan considers a threat to Turkish security. Encouraged by his victory, Mr. Erdogan could see no reason to give up his strategy of expelling the Syrian Kurds from the key regions of northern Syria, Pierini said.

The Opposition Lies Between a Rock and a Hard Place [19659005] The unusually spirited performance of the opposition in such difficult situations bodes well for them in the future – or highlights the futility of taking action against Mr Erdogan under such biases.

Muharrem Ince, Mr. Erdogan's next rival in the president "Turkey is a candidate for a racist campaign" – said Halil Karaveli, a Turkish analyst and author of the book "Why Turkey Is Authoritarian."

"Turkey is strongly polarized, but it is interested in reaching out to Kurds and religious conservatives," Karaveli said. "If he plays his cards well, he is the man for the future."

But other analysts were more pessimistic and doubted whether the opposition should continue to legitimize a rigged system by taking part in elections.

"If fundamental civil rights and fundamental rights standards are not respected, they should not add to the illusion that Turkey is a true democracy," Mr Eisenstat said. "It's time for them to think about whether they want to push forward the status quo in the hope that eventually new realities arise, or to draw attention to the way these democratic norms have been eroded."

Patrick Kingsley contributed to the coverage.

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