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Signs point to early Turkish elections

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may exploit a fractured opposition and a popular military campaign to bring forward presidential and parliament elections, cementing the new powers he won in last year’s referendum.
Banners with pictures of modern Turkey's founder Ataturk and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan are pictured during the opening ceremony of Recep Tayyip Erdogan Imam Hatip School in Istanbul, Turkey, September 29, 2017. Picture taken September 29, 2017.    To match Special Report TURKEY-ERDOGAN/EDUCATION     REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RC1E9AE58B80

Turkey may be preparing for a snap election this year to enshrine President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s expanded powers and capitalize on the disarray of a splintered opposition enfeebled by a long crackdown that has jailed politicians, journalists and activists in the wake of a failed coup.

Moving up the date of the presidential and parliamentary votes, which are currently due to be held together in November 2019, will hasten the end of Turkey’s century-old parliamentary system, eliminating the office of prime minister and concentrating vast executive powers in Erdogan’s office after he narrowly won a referendum on the controversial amendments to the constitution last year.

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