The Christian Science Monitor quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Aaron Stein on the voters’ concerns and the ultimate success of Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP):

Turkey analyst Aaron Stein says voters chose what was most familiar, and credits Erdogan’s Islamist-leaning Justice and Development Party (AKP) with running a smart and targeted campaign. “They ran on a campaign of stability,” says Mr. Stein, a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington.


According to analysts, voter concerns over Erdogan’s plans to change the Constitution had contributed in June to the first-ever election of a pro-Kurdish party by pushing national party support over a 10-percent threshold. A key to the AKP’s success this time, Stein says, was a careful selection of candidates, a concerted effort to regain voters in swing states, and the decision to make Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu, rather than Erdogan, the face of the campaign.


“The No. 1 governing priority will be what to do with this PKK peace process,” says Stein. “Do they go with the military option and clear the PKK from urban centers in the southeast, or do they reach out back to [PKK leader] Abdullah Ocalan and try to restart the peace process purportedly from a position of strength?”

Read the full article here.

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