Though Erdogan secured another five-year term as president with sweeping new powers in an election last year, he was rendered suddenly vulnerable by his party’s poor showing in the March 31 voting, which took place as the economy has begun to falter.
The US Trade Representative (USTR) in early March said Turkey was no longer eligible to participate in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program because it "is sufficiently economically developed."
While local elections in any country would be expected to draw little notice overseas, this particular vote was held nine months after the national elections that gave Erdogan an iron grip over his country, and at a time when Turkey is officially in a recession.
Turkey is shelling Kurdish militia in Syria, but it has ruled out any unilateral ground intervention there. It comes as Russia asked the UN Security Council on Friday to call for Syria’s sovereignty to be respected – over concerns about a Turkish ground operation. “Turkey will not be going into Syria with the boots on […]