Turkey’s Erdogan Wins Big but Faces Challenges

Despite Turkey's stalled European Union accession bid and a seeming inability to influence the turmoil gripping the Middle East, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party sailed to its third consecutive parliamentary election victory last weekend by touting its success in raising the country's profile on the world stage.

According to Yigal Schleifer, an independent journalist and World Politics Review contributor, the party -- known by its Turkish acronym, AKP -- effectively portrayed itself "as the main driver of democratization in Turkey."

"The economy has been growing steadily, and Turkey's profile on the world stage and in the region have been growing steadily," Schleefer told Trend Lines, adding that the party capitalized on "a newfound sense of self-confidence within Turkey that stands in contrast to what historically has been a sense of inferiority and of not being given enough respect."

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