President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won 12 electoral contests in the last 16 years. But this time he faces what may be his greatest political challenge: himself. After having consolidated power by crushing the organizers of a military coup, firing thousands of government workers, and controlling much of the media, Erdogan knows he holds sole responsibility for the state of his country today. And the economy is struggling: The Turkish lira is down more than 20 percent against the U.S. dollar this year and inflation is running at 18 percent. Meanwhile, Erdogan’s main rival, opposition candidate Muharrem Ince, has been drawing large crowds of support and is expected to take the election into a second runoff vote with Erdogan.
Erdogan Is Making the Ottoman Empire Great Again: Turkey is leveraging tradition to expand its power in Europe — but the history cuts both ways. by Michael Colborne and Maxim Edwards
Don’t Trust Anybody About Turkey’s Elections: The one thing that’s clear about Erdogan’s re-election bid is that everything is unclear. by Steven A. Cook
Erdogan Will Win by Any Means Necessary: Turkey’s president has plenty of experience stealing elections — and Sunday’s vote is one he can’t afford to lose. by Henri J. Barkey
Don’t Turn The Turkish Army Into A Political Tool: Turkey has a history of coups. Whoever wins the election must prevent politicization of the military. by Ozgur Ozkan
Turkey’s Wag-the-Dog Election: Erdogan is fighting a military battle to win a political one. by Turker Erturk and Selim Sazak
The Making of a Kurdish Mandela: By keeping a key challenger in jail, Turkey’s government risks making Selahattin Demirtas an even more popular and formidable opponent. by Henri J. Barkey