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Local election defeat bodes more foreign woes for Erdogan

The irreparable setback Turkey’s president suffered in the March 31 municipal polls, coupled with the country’s economic crisis, leaves him in a weaker position vis-a-vis Washington, Moscow and the European Union.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine greet supporters in Ankara, Turkey April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RC186E18F620
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About a month ago, while campaigning for Turkey’s March 31 local polls, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that “separating domestic and foreign policy is impossible” and that “domestic policy shapes foreign policy anywhere in the world.” In further remarks at the March 2 rally in Trabzon, he said, “The more our country grew stronger at home, the more it grew stronger and gained respect abroad over the past 17 years. The more the Turkish economy grew, the more influence Turkish diplomats gained. The more Turkish democracy advanced, the more Turkey’s say in foreign affairs increased.”

Before getting to the point, let’s use our liberty to construe Erdogan’s words and note that what he means by “our country” and “Turkish democracy” is his own rule since 2002.

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