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In the news: between Oct. 26 - Nov. 2, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in the media between October 26 - November 2, 2015

Turkish voters head to polls amid mounting violence - USA Today

Millions of Turkish voters will head to the polls Sunday for the second time in five months for a snap election unfolding amid mounting violence, deepening polarization and a sputtering economy.

The previous parliamentary election in June dealt a heavy blow to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ambitions to further consolidate his grip on power. Voters denied Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) a majority for the first time in 13 years, while giving the country’s long-repressed Kurdish minority its biggest voice yet in Turkish politics.

Now, Turkey is effectively waging a two-front war against the PKK and the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, in neighboring Syria and Iraq. Both groups are designated terrorist organizations by Turkey and most Western countries but are also sworn enemies.

Opinion polls suggest that voter preferences remain largely unchanged by recent developments in Turkey, and analysts predict Erdogan's party will again fail to secure a majority of seats in parliament to govern alone.

“There isn’t a lot of optimism that much of anything will be gained from the upcoming elections. And even if the AKP gains a few more seats, we are still likely to be left with a coalition scenario,” said Michael Wuthrich, an expert on Turkish elections and director of the Center for Global and International Studies at the University of Kansas. “Turkish society is also incredibly polarized, and there is little hope among voters for positive change.”


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