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Local election results will complicate Turkey’s security choices

Despite electoral losses suffered by the alliance led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the nationalists in that alliance were able to improve their standing, which will surely affect Erdogan's future security choices.
Turkish marines on board the TCG Bayraktar (L-402) take part in a landing drill during the Blue Homeland naval exercise off the Aegean coastal town of Foca in Izmir Bay, Turkey March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RC1C494881A0

The results of Turkey's March 31 local elections will be debated for a long time to come. The main issues of debate will be the preferences of voters, whether the recently installed executive presidential system is working, and how strong is the public's confidence in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Cabinet. This confidence is not only about domestic politics, but foreign policy affairs as well.

Results from the vote show that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) sustained substantial losses, receiving about 2 million fewer votes compared to the June 2018 elections, with most of the losses occurring in metropolitan areas, led by Ankara and Istanbul.

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