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Erdogan still faces uphill battle despite electoral victory

Turkey’s turn toward a blend of political Islam and ultra-nationalism is unlikely to help improve ties with the West.
A supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan holds his picture in front of a Turkish flag, in front of Turkey's ruling AK Party (AKP) headquarters in Istanbul,Turkey, June 24, 2018. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC1D72DCC500

The playing field was less than level, with state of emergency rule in force, and a generally subservient mass media in the service of the ruling party. The results of Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections held June 24 have, nevertheless, vindicated incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Having garnered 52.5% of the vote, thus avoiding a runoff, Erdogan will now serve as Turkey’s first executive president, with enhanced powers and few encumbrances from parliament, thanks to constitutional changes adopted in April 2017.

Erdogan's victory put him nearly 22% points ahead of Muharrem Ince, the social democratic runner-up, who got 30.7% of the presidential vote, while his party, the main opposition Republican People's Part (CHP), managed to garner only 22.6% of the parliamentary vote. Given the margin, many wonder whether the results favoring Erdogan would have changed substantially had conditions been fairer.

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