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Turkey’s Islamist ‘old guard’ joins Erdogan opponents

The National View, the pioneer movement of political Islam in Turkey, has joined the opposition in its efforts to unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in next month’s elections.
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In Turkey’s snap presidential elections next month, the incumbent, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, faces a challenge, among several, from the very quarters that propelled him to political stardom in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The National View, the movement that pioneered political Islam in Turkey, has fielded a presidential candidate, Temel Karamollaoglu, to oppose Erdogan, and the Felicity Party that Karamollaoglu leads has allied with major opposition forces for the parliamentary elections taking place the same day, June 24.

The Felicity Party got less than 1% of the vote in the last elections, held in 2015, and although its popularity has since increased, it still polls well below the 10% threshold required to enter parliament as an individual party. Yet in the close parliamentary race that pollsters are predicting, the Felicity Party is seen as a critical player, capable of tipping the scale in the opposition’s favor by attracting pious Turks and Kurds disillusioned with Erdogan’s rule.

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