Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces test in Turkey’s local elections

Almost 17 years ago, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power, propelled by voters keen to teach the establishment a lesson after Turkey’s economy fell apart in 2001. At the time, Erdogan represented a fresh start. Afterward, the AKP remained victorious, winning many subsequent elections with an absolute majority.

March 31’s municipal elections could be a turning point. Turkey’s economy again became a problem last year. It is not only the opposition holding Erdogan responsible for this state of affairs: AKP supporters, too, blame the president’s policies for their misery.

In just one year, the lira has lost about 40 per cent of its value against the US dollar. In addition, inflation doubled during the same period — it has now reached 20 per cent.

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