Erdogan’s win means more than just another five years of his authoritarian rule. The elections gifted him with a raft of new powers – voted for in last year’s referendum – including the right to directly appoint public officials, impose a state of emergency and intervene unilaterally in the judicial system.
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With the economy showing worrying signs, some observers have viewed the early elections as a sign of weakness, and the government certainly does not appear fully prepared for such an election. However, by calling an early election, Erdogan has maximized his chances of success in a country that still fiercely identifies as democratic, even if the reality is far more complicated.