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Erdoğan, the Kurds, and Turkey’s Presidential Elections 31 juillet 2014

Posted by Acturca in Turkey / Turquie.
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GTE Commentary (Istituto Affari Internazionali) No.13, July 2014, 3 p.

by Piotr Zalewski *

To judge by the year he has had, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s prime minister, has the kind of staying power other politicians can only dream of. Having endured a series of antigovernment protests, a spectacular falling out with the Gülen community and a gripping, seemingly bruising corruption scandal, all of which prompted some commentators to begin drafting his political obituary, Erdoğan is not only alive and kicking, but arguably stronger than ever. Today, having served a maximum of three terms as prime minister, he is coasting towards the presidency, up for grabs in a popular vote on August 10, and pledging to transform the largely symbolic office into the strongest arm of the executive. Very little, his two opponents included, can stand in his way. With the discussion among Turkish pundits having filtered down to whether Erdoğan will win in the first round or in the second, the question is not so much how the Kurds will affect the election, but how the election will affect the Kurdish peace process.

Document prepared for the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in the context of the IAI-Istanbul Policy Center-Mercator Foundation project « Turkey, Europe and the World », July 2014.

* Piotr Zalewski is an Istanbul-based freelance writer3 for Time, Foreign Policy, and the Financial Times, among others.

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