Recep Tayyip Erdogan has officially joined the world’s strongman club.
Championing the type of political and economic nationalism in vogue from Moscow to Beijing – even Washington – Erdogan, modern Turkey’s longest-serving ruler, cruised to an election victoryyesterday and now wields sweeping new powers.
The massive opposition demonstrations in the days preceding the vote ended up providing compelling political theater but little at the ballot box.
His main opponent conceded defeat but said it wasn’t a fair race – citing a state of emergency in force since a failed coup in 2016, and with the president dominating the airwaves.
With virtually no checks on Erdogan’s control, and the loser showing no signs of trying to rally fresh protests, his primary task will be to fix a once-booming economy on the verge of a bust: a plunging currency, accelerating inflation and capital flight. The lira rallied on easing political uncertainty.
There’s plenty at stake: control of immigration into Europe, cooperation with NATO and security in Syria and Iraq.
Un message qui valide Salvini | Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s hard-line approach to stopping an influx of migrants won the endorsement of voters in municipal elections yesterday. His party, the League, and its center-right allies captured most cities, including traditionally left-wing places like Siena and Pisa.