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Turkey’s Kilicdaroglu scapegoats Syrian refugees in bid to defeat Erdogan

Opposition leader sides with hard-liners advocating expulsion in last-ditch effort to unseat Erdogan in election that should turn on economy.
Turkey election

An Al-Monitor/Premise poll released this week has Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a statistical tie with opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in a runoff scheduled for Sunday, May 28. Erdogan came out ahead in the first round on May 14, 49.52% to 44.88%, but missed the 50% required to win outright.  

Erdogan’s unlikely edge on economy 

The overriding issue for voters (57%) is the economy, which is not surprising given skyrocketing inflation, food prices and unemployment, all compounded by the earthquake in February, which killed 50,000. 

The bad news keeps coming. Turkey’s foreign exchange reserves fell into the red this week for the first time in over 20 years, with its banking system now dependent on deposits by Arab Gulf countries. Mustafa Sonmez has the background here on Turkey’s cash crisis, and Afshin Molavi, writing in Forbes, has a first-rate assessment of Turkey’s daunting post-election economic challenges. 

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