By Xander Snyder
Turks will head to the polls this weekend in snap parliamentary and presidential elections called by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan just two months ago, almost certainly as a way for Erdogan to consolidate his position for another five years before the economy takes a turn for the worse. Erdogan likely wanted to give the opposition as little time as possible to organize, but it has nonetheless put up a much tougher fight than many anticipated.
Erdogan is facing three challengers in the elections. The Kemalist Republican People’s Party, or CHP, led by Muharrem Ince, is in second place in the polls; the moderate, center-right Iyi Party, led by Meral Aksener, is in third place; and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, led by Selahattin Demirtas, a former member of parliament who was arrested on terrorism charges nearly two years ago, is in fourth. The CHP and the Iyi Party have formed a coalition for the parliamentary elections, although Ince