The March 30 elections will go down in history as yet another political victory for Turkey’s powerful Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The national average his party won at the ballots — 43% or 45% of the overall vote, based on the counting method applied — is certainly a big success. Even if all the claims of fraud are true, especially in Ankara, it is clear that Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) is still very popular after 11 years in power.
This might come as a surprise to those observers, especially in the West, who thought that Erdogan would lose support because of all the recent political scandals and controversies in Turkey, such as corruption, authoritarianism and the shrinking of certain liberties. Why, they might wonder, does Erdogan still triumph despite all these problems.