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Turkey’s new parliament: 50 shades of nationalism, conservatism

Turkey has ended up with the most nationalist and conservative parliament in its modern history, and where women, LGBT groups will face an uphill battle.
Turkey election
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Turkey’s new parliament after the May 14 elections may look more diverse and colorful, featuring members from 18 parties, but nationalist and conservative forces, scattered on either side of the aisle, have gained an unprecedented weight in the legislature.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who faces a May 28 runoff in the presidential race after garnering 49.5% of the vote in the first round, has based his entire campaign on narratives of national survival and security. To flatter national pride, he has showcased energy, infrastructure and military equipment projects, drawing a vision of a “grand Turkey.” 

To villainize the opposition and scare the electorate, Team Erdogan has painted visions of resurging terrorism, coups, Western interventions and the country’s partition, accusing opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu of links to terrorist groups. By so doing, he has sought to minimize the political price he pays for the economic crisis bruising Turkey, the huge devastation of the February earthquakes and mounting allegations of corruption in government ranks.

Stamping Erdogan's policies

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