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Turkey’s Erdogan: A Mixed Blessing?

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 2:34 pm (UTC-4)
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Turkey is often viewed by the West as an island of stability in a sea of turmoil. For the United States, there is no question that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a leader it needs badly to help stave off more tumult, and maybe even deliver a decisive blow against the Islamic State. On Sunday, Erdogan’s ruling party regained its majority in parliamentary elections, sparked by a hung parliament in June’s general elections. Not content to give up 13 years of AKP rule, critics say Erdogan stoked a nationalistic atmosphere that led his party to victory. And there is ample evidence that Erdogan has become ever more repressive of Turkey’s democratic institutions. As one blog put it: “Dealing with Erdogan is now, for his Western partners, much like holding a wolf by the ears: risky, but the alternative seems much worse.”