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10/30/15

Elections: Turkey’s Erdogan Should Listen to the Voters

Not so long ago, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister of Turkey from 2003 until 2014 and president since, was hailed as a model leader of an emerging economy with an admirably moderate Islamist bent.

At the helm of the Justice and Development Party (A.K.P.) he had created, Mr. Erdogan oversaw an economic recovery and introduced democratic reforms (part of an effort to win admission to the European Union), achieved a truce with Kurdish nationalists and curbed the power of an ambitious military. 

Yet today, on the eve of a second national election within five months, which Mr. Erdogan engineered after being battered in the first, many of those achievements have been undermined, in no small part because of Mr. Erdogan’s relentless drive to win and consolidate power.

The Turkish military is again bombing Kurdish separatists; opposition parties have trouble holding rallies or getting airtime; rivals are branded as terrorists; opposition media is intimidated or muzzled. The economy, which grew an impressive 9.2 percent in 2010, is now expected to grow by 3 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Read more: Turkey’s Erdogan Should Listen to the Voters - The New York Times

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