The choice in Turkey’s vote

On Sunday, Turkey will vote in an election with consequences reaching far beyond its borders. For the country’s 64 million voters and their families, the immediate concerns are bread and butter. Inflation peaked at 85% last October. The nation’s currency has plunged 57% against the U.S. dollar.

At a time when many democracies are struggling, Turkey’s ballot for president and parliament marks a test case. “The question is simple: … fear or hope?” wrote journalist Ece Temelkuran in The Guardian.

As Turkey’s leader for 20 years, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slid toward one-man rule, consolidating authority in a new, all-powerful presidency while undermining parliament, the judiciary, and the central bank. Since surviving a coup attempt in 2016, he has arrested some 80,000 people and muzzled institutions like the media and universities with layers of new restrictions.

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