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Turkey’s milestone elections shatter Erdogan’s air of invincibility

Turkey's local elections on March 31 broke the glass ceiling for the Turkish opposition, ending the perception that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is invincible.
Ekrem Imamoglu, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate for mayor of Istanbul, visits Anitkabir, the mausoleum of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, as he is flanked by his family members and supporters in Ankara, Turkey, April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RC192AED7890

The results of the local Turkish elections held on March 31 are stunning, not only for those pessimists who expected nothing interesting out of the vote, but even for the optimists who thought the elections would serve as a lesson for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It was Erdogan who transformed the municipal elections into a referendum of sorts, one that would renew and enhance his executive presidency, by employing a frenzied election campaign. And he lost this referendum.

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