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What Erdogan's Reelection Means For Sweden's NATO Bid

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

It’s official: Erdogan will remain president of Turkey for five more years after the results of a “free and fair” election, at least if you fail to consider that the candidate who would have had the best chance of beating him, former Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, was taken out of the race back in December when he was charged with “insulting public figures” and sentenced to two years in prison. Imamoglu was very popular and a key reason behind Erdogan’s continual losses in Istanbul's local elections. Instead, the opposition was forced to rally around the far-less popular and far-less energizing Kemal Kilocdaroglu, though the voting was close, regardless. For Washington, Erdogan’s win now is immediately about Sweden’s NATO membership, which the White House appears to expect will be forthcoming now that Erdogan no longer needs this for nationalist election campaigning leverage.

There is still no indication of a target date to turn the pipeline back on that transports oil from northern Iraq to Turkey, leaving some 450,000 bpd in limbo. While Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) had come to an agreement that would see Kurdistan’s oil marketed by the Iraqi federal SOMO agency, with revenues placed in a bank account controlled by the Kurds, Turkey’s critical elections (Erdogan won) were apparently holding up Ankara’s decision to turn the pipeline back on.…

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