The world is unprepared for Turkey’s potentially cataclysmic 2023 elections

Many are quietly dreading a Belarus scenario, in which Erdogan unleashes state power if he loses the vote, writes Borzou Daragahi

Sunday 05 June 2022 15:15
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<p>Many dread the political upheavals that could erupt in the Nato nation in 2023 – or sooner, if Erdogan decides to call early elections</p>

Many dread the political upheavals that could erupt in the Nato nation in 2023 – or sooner, if Erdogan decides to call early elections

With a little more than a year to go before Turkey’s general elections, the outlines of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plans to retain power are coming into focus, and they are worrying many watching the country.

So far, there is little sign that western nations or any other regional or world power are preparing for any outcome other than a clean Erdogan victory. But Turks are already discussing what could happen if he loses the election and refuses to relinquish power.

Like Belarus dictator Aleksander Lukashenko in 2020, some worry that Erdogan and his allies would cheat so egregiously and crack down on opponents so harshly that world leaders would be unable to sweep the matter under the rug. There is also the possibility that Erdogan wins the presidency but loses the parliament, or that a new centre-left administration comes into power in Ankara and renews demands to enter the EU.

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