Turkey’s Snap Elections Might be a Break from Consolidation

Muharrem Ince, presidential candidate of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party, talks to supporters during an election rally in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, June 22, 2018. Turkey holds parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24, 2018, deemed important as it will transform Turkey's governing system to an executive presidency.
Muharrem Ince, presidential candidate of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party, talks to supporters during an election rally in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, June 22, 2018. Turkey holds parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24, 2018, deemed important as it will transform Turkey's governing system to an executive presidency. Burhan Ozbilici / AP Photo
Muharrem Ince, presidential candidate of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party, talks to supporters during an election rally in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, June 22, 2018. Turkey holds parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24, 2018, deemed important as it will transform Turkey's governing system to an executive presidency.
Muharrem Ince, presidential candidate of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party, talks to supporters during an election rally in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, June 22, 2018. Turkey holds parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24, 2018, deemed important as it will transform Turkey's governing system to an executive presidency. Burhan Ozbilici / AP Photo

Turkey’s Snap Elections Might be a Break from Consolidation

After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for snap elections in April, many assumed that it was his attempt to outcompete his democratic opposition before they could organize against him in the original elections scheduled for next year. The vote is happening this weekend, and the opposition has given him a run for his money. The president has consolidated power since a failed coup in 2016 and a constitutional referendum to abolish the Premiership last April. Journalists and other dissenters have been jailed and intimidated. But Erdogan’s opposition has created a formidable bloc that includes the country’s marginalized Kurds and might force a runoff. To discuss, we’re joined by Sinan Erensu, a postdoctoral fellow at the Northwestern University Buffett Institute for Global Studies, where his work focuses on political power and dissent in 21st century Turkey.