Erdogan local election defeat ‘won’t impact foreign policy’

Turkish President and leader of the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, Recep Tayyip addresses supporters during a campaign rally in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 24. [Francisco Seco/AP]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's first defeat in local elections on Sunday will not have an impact on Turkey's foreign policy, according to the regional director of the Turkish branch of the think tank The German Marshall Fund of the United States.

In an interview with Kathimerini, Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, noted that on the contrary, the fact that there are no more elections for the next four years will play a role. "It is now easier for Erdogan to make the necessary decisions, which may be unpopular, including foreign policy. The same applies to relations with Greece, and the fact that [Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos] Mitsotakis is in a comfortable political position will create similar dynamics," he said.

The incumbent mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, was re-elected with a resounding victory for the secular opposition CHP. Asked by Kathimerini what Imamoglu...

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