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Turks in Europe and Kurds in Turkey Could Elect Erdogan 24 juillet 2014

Posted by Acturca in Immigration, Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie.
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Policy Analysis (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy) N° 2291, July 23, 2014

Soner Cagaptay and Ege Cansu Sacikara *

Erdogan’s strategy in the August presidential polls envisions strong support among European Turks in the first round of voting, and backing from nationalist Kurds in case of a second round.

On August 10, Turks will go to the polls to choose a new president for the first time in the country’s history, an electoral change ushered in by a 2010 constitutional amendment. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the longtime prime minister and leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), is on the ballot, as is Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, joint candidate for the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Action Party (MHP).

In the March 30 local government elections, the CHP-MHP bloc and the AKP each received 43% of the vote. This leaves two voter blocs as potential kingmakers in next month’s polls: Kurdish nationalists, whose Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) received 6.5% of the March vote, and Turks residing overseas, who will be allowed to vote abroad for the first time following a 2012 change to the electoral system.

* Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family Fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. Ege Cansu Sacikara is the Yvonne Silverman Research Assistant at The Washington Institute.

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