Just under a year ago, Turkish President Erdogan won another five years in power in the Turkish presidential election. Last week, however, local election results in Turkey delivered a harsh blow to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Although the gap at the national level wasn’t huge, the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won about 38 percent of the vote and Erdogan’s AKP garnered approximately 35 percent, in major Turkish cities such as Istanbul and Ankara the gulf was significant. Following disappointing results for the CHP during last year’s general election, this significant defeat, the largest since the AKP's founding in 2001, proved a surprise. To discuss how we should interpret these election results and their implications for Turkish democracy, Asli Aydintaşbaş and Steven Cook join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on this week’s episode of Brussels Sprouts.

Steven A. Cook is the Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies and Director of the International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of numerous books, including his most recent work, The End of Ambition: America’s Past, Present, and Future in the Middle East, which is set to be released on June 3, 2024. 

Asli Aydintaşbaş is a visiting fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, as well as a former Global Opinions columnist at The Washington Post and a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

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