EGF Turkey File, 16 March — 15 April 2014

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Insights into Turkish Domestic and International Politics

16 March — 15 April 2014

By John VanPool, EGF Turkey and Black Sea Regional Analyst

Key Points:

  • The AKP emerges victorious in the country"s municipal elections, capturing nearly 43 percent of all votes.
  • Opposition parties fare better than in previous contests, but their split gives the AKP the upper hand at the ballot box.
  • His party"s success means that Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan will likely run for the presidency in August"s first ever election by popular vote.
  • Erdogan"s government blocks social media sites, referring to critics as "enemies" and further degrading political discourse in the Republic.
  • Recordings of high-level military and political meetings continue to leak to the public, and are used by the AKP as justification to push for bans of many social media platforms.
  • The presence of hundreds of thousands of mainly Sunni Syrian refugees in southern Turkey continues to concern Turkey"s Alevi communities.
  • The situation in Syria remains static, but a large-scale military escalation has the potential to severely destabilize Turkey"s southern provinces.

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