Among the many general elections of international consequence to watch this year, Nigeria’s, scheduled for February will be by far the largest; Pakistan’s, due by October, will probably be the loudest. But the most important will unquestionably take place on June 18, when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks to stretch his rule over Turkey into a third decade.
The outcome will shape geopolitical and economic calculations in Washington and Moscow, as well as capitals across Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. “What happens in Turkey doesn’t just stay in Turkey,” says Ziya Meral, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for
Defence and Security Studies. “Turkey may be a middle power, but the great powers have a stake in its election.”