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Setbacks can be early warnings

Apr 17,2019 - Last updated at Apr 17,2019

True, President Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) had narrowly lost control of Ankara and Istanbul in recent local elections, but all is not lost for the Turkish president, not by a long shot.

Erdogan remains generally popular in Turkey, and while he has faced some setbacks in Turkey's two biggest cities and there has been some erosion in his popularity, he is still strong and popular enough to withstand such setbacks.

After more than a decade and a half in power, it is natural that president Erdogan's popularity and support would begin to lose grounds. There could be an Erdogan fatigue in the country after so many years at the helm, and the high margin of support that he once enjoyed is beginning to wane.

The Turkish leader may take these setbacks as early warnings to him and his party that policies may have to change every now and then to satisfy the new mood of the country and its people. The Turkish president may wish now to revisit some of his policies, including those directed against his opponents, as well as on the chronic Kurdish file altogether. The Kurdish crisis deserves a new look and a fresh perspective. Reliance on a strictly military response is not going to work forever.

Loosening up pressure on the political opponents of the president would be in ode now, especially when his grip on power remains intact and unshaken.

It all boils down to whether AKP will readjust its policies in order to face the growing challenges in a more meaningful and effective way. For the time being, President Erdogan remains firmly in control of his country. The question is for how long this popularity will last without some adjustments and corrections. Winds of change are sweeping the country and they need to be taken on board.

Erdogan has done a lot for his country and he can be expected to do more in the years ahead, especially if some corrective policies and adjustments are adopted soon enough.

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