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Turkey's Saadet Party could sway Istanbul elections

Turkey's fundamentalist Saadet Party will run its mayoral candidate in the June 23 repeat election in Istanbul, possibly tipping the results in favor of the opposition party.
Saadet Party leader Karamollaoglu speaks after meeting with Iyi Party leader Aksener at Iyi Party headquaters in Ankara, Turkey April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RC11C9891450

ANKARA, Turkey — A small story tucked away in Turkish newspapers this week could become significant in five weeks’ time: The Saadet Party, which finished third in the Istanbul municipal elections, announced it would run in the repeat election June 23.

The Islamist fundamentalist party got only 1.2% of the city’s vote March 31, but its 103,000 voters are ideologically closer to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan than to the secular opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

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