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Erdogan consolidates control over AKP

The current wide-ranging purges carried out under Turkey's emergency rule might one day spread to the ruling Justice and Development Party.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, gives flowers to his supporters upon arriving at the Extraordinary Congress of the ruling AK Party (AKP) in Ankara, Turkey, May 21, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX36ST1

After a 998-day interval, Turkey’s larger-than-life President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, thanks to the constitutional amendments passed in a highly contested April 16 referendum amid allegations of fraud, formally reacquired the chairmanship of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). No one ran against him, and he received 1,414 votes from the delegates assembled at the AKP’s extraordinary congress.

Previously, whoever was serving as president of the republic was supposed to be apolitical and not be affiliated with a political party, much less be a party leader. The recent constitutional amendments not only are going to equip Erdogan with extraordinary powers, but also are enabling him to firmly grasp the reins of the AKP.

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