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How Turkey's local elections became 'matter of national survival'

The continuing deterioration of Turkey's economy and the fact that the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has refrained from entering candidates in local elections in the country's west, where the HDP is supporting other opposition parties, could result in the ruling party’s loss of some larger cities, which could lead to early general elections.

On March 31, Turkey will elect mayors for 81 provincial capitals and 957 towns. Under normal conditions in Turkey, local elections are considered to be of interest mostly to local people and do not have much effect on national political balances.

But this time, there is a different scenario for the local elections, one that is often expressed by narratives of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. If you listen to the president's remarks and messages without realizing that the subject is local elections, you could get the impression that the country is heading to unprecedented vital elections, is about to engage in war or is going to undergo a change of regime.

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