On Saturday evening we previewed what we said could end up being another black swan for markets. Turkey headed back to the polls on Sunday for the second time in five months as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attempts to win back AKP’s absolute majority on the way to garnering parliamentary support for a bid to alter the constitution and consolidate his power.
You can read our full election preview here, but suffice to say Erdogan has essentially plunged his country into civil war in an effort to convince the electorate that in the absence of a dictator (i.e. him) they’ll be chaos in the streets.
This campaign (which amounts to government-sponsored terrorism against citizens) is inextricably bound up with the conflict in Syria, as the PKK are affiliated with Syrian Kurds battling ISIS and vying for the right to declare an autonmous region on Turkey’s border. HDP, the political party that effectively cost AKP its single-party rule in June, is affiliated with PKK.
This is all made immeasurably more complicated by the fact that the US is set to embed soldiers with the YPG and fly missions in support of the ground troops from a Turkish airbase.
It’s all unbelievable convoluted and we again encourage you to review our previous coverage but as it relates to today’s election, the simple takeaway is this: Erdogan is hell bent on restoring AKP’s majority and that means that the results are a foregone conclusion. If he didn’t get it today, he’d just undermine the coalition building process gain and hold a third round of elections, and then a fourth, and a fifth until he got what he wanted and in the interim, there’d be still more violence.
And so, against that backdrop, reports are now beginning to trickle in that in fact Erdogan has managed to engineer a huge swing in voter sentiment as AKP is polling at 52%.
CNN-TURK SAYS TURKEY’S AKP LIKELY TO WIN SINGLE-PARTY GOVT
TURKEY’S AKP HAS 2M MORE VOTES THAN IN JUNE AT 85% COUNTED: AA
TURKEY’S AKP SINGLE-PARTY GOVT `GUARANTEED’: STATE-RUN ANADOLU
State-run TRT television says that preliminary results in Turkey’s crucial parliamentary election suggest a surprising boost for the ruling party.
It said that with 76 percent of the votes counted, the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has won 51 percent, which would comfortably restore its ruling majority.
The result could still change significantly as votes come in from disparate regions of the country.
So there you go folks: Ankara’s NATO-sponsored civil war with the PKK combined with who knows what manner of ballot box manipulation and outright coercion looks set to complete Erdogan’s subversion of Turkey’s fragile “democracy.”
On the bright side, this may bode well for the plunging lira.