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Opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu waves to supporters at rally after winning Istanbul's repeat mayor election. Ekrem Imamoglu, the candidate of the opposition Republican People's Party, waves to supporters at a victory rally after the repeat mayoral election, Istanbul, June 23, 2019 (Imamoglu Media photo by Onur Gunay team via AP).

Is Turkey’s Future in Play After the Opposition Won Istanbul’s Election Rerun?

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The results of Sunday’s rerun election for mayor of Istanbul sent headline writers and political commentators scrambling for the right description. One Turkish newspaper called the crushing defeat of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hand-picked candidate an “earthquake.” Another called it a “people’s victory.” Cumhuriyet, the main opposition daily, declared that “one-man rule” had been “thrashed.”

Voters in Istanbul, the city where Erdogan was born and where he rose to power as mayor himself in the 1990s, turned firmly against him, setting the country’s political landscape in flux. The opposition is invigorated and Erdogan, who has become the most dominant figure in modern Turkish history since Kemal Ataturk, is suddenly on his back foot. The question now is about the future of Turkey. Is this the beginning of the end of Erdogan’s dominance? ...

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