The challenges ahead for Turkish PM Erdogan

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The challenges ahead for Turkish PM Erdogan

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a strong mandate to pursue his reform agenda after Sunday’s election results.

But he will need to seek support from other parties to change Turkey’s constitution, penned by the military after a coup three decades ago.

Erdogan’s Justice and Development, or AK Party, fell short of the two thirds majority needed to alter the constitution unilaterally.

But can he convince the opposition that changes will be for the good of Turkey and not just for the benefit of his party?

Erdogan wants greater executive powers granted to the president and many believe he covets the role.

AKP campaign posters that outlined ambitious policy goals for 2023, eight years after the end of the prime minister’s third and final four-year term, did little to allay the view that Erdogan plans to stick around in Turkish politics.

Without the ‘super-majority’, the AKP will need to engage with the three other major groups in parliament including pro-Kurdish deputies.

The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) won 35 of the 550 seats up for grabs and will push for greater Kurdish autonomy in return for their support.

Erdogan did promise a raft of measures during his last term to ease the tension with Turkey’s Kurdish minority, but they failed to materialise.