Erdogan’s dilemma a crossroads for Turkey

Istanbul Mayor and Republican People's Party, or CHP, candidate Ekrem Imamoglu take photographs with supporters during a campaign rally in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, March 21, 2024. [Francisco Seco/AP]

Turkey is entering a most interesting time. Its president and the re-elected mayor of Istanbul were both right in describing Sunday's election as a victory for democracy - this was the definition of democracy, as the side that did not hold all the levers of power won. And it is encouraging that Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who has spent the past few years establishing an autocracy which combines nationalism and Islamism - should extol democracy in this context. In our time, democracy is more often used as a smokescreen for those who would undermine it, rather than as the means for achieving the greatest happiness for the largest number of people. In Turkey we will see whether Ekrem Imamoglu's promise will come true - that his victory is a victory for every ethnic group in the country - or whether the political earthquake will invigorate the forces of division in which Erdogan has...

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