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Making Sense of Turkey’s Contradictory Behavior: Part 2

MIN READApr 9, 2021 | 18:29 GMT

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters of his ruling Justice and Development Party during a political rally in Ankara on March 24, 2021.

(ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Ahead of 2023 elections, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will embrace policies that appease its Islamist base by further entrenching religion into the country’s culture and economy. The AKP will also ramp up efforts to rig the country’s electoral system in its favor, pulling Turkey toward authoritarianism. Sliding poll numbers, the emergence of rival parties and an uncertain economic future are forcing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) to rethink its political strategy ahead of June 2023 elections. As the AKP loses control of managing Turkey’s economy, the party is considering old tactics, like reshaping the country’s electoral system to better benefit the AKP and its ruling partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), leaning into more Islamist-friendly cultural conservatism at home while pragmatically picking confrontations with the international community abroad. While it’s not certain that such tactics will necessarily position the AKP for yet...

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