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Bobby Ghosh

US Should Brace for More Pushback From Erdogan

With a re-election bid in the works, the Turkish president is likely to ratchet up tensions just when NATO needs his cooperation on Ukraine.

More populism ahead.

More populism ahead.

Photographer: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has kicked off Turkey’s campaign season by confirming that elections will be held next June — and that he will seek to extend his rule into a third decade. “Now, I am saying that I am the candidate of the People’s Alliance,” he told supporters in the Aegean port city of Izmir last week. He was referring to the ruling coalition of his AK Party and the nationalist MHP.

Turkey’s allies and rivals, along with Turks themselves, might want to buckle up for 12 months of turbulence. The US and Europe should brace themselves for even more mudslinging and contrariness from Erdogan at a time when they need his cooperation in containing Russian adventurism.