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There’s a Lot at Stake for China in Turkey’s Elections

Supporters of Turkish president and the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party wave flags as they wait for the results of Turkey's general elections at the AK Party headquarters in Ankara, on May 14, 2023. Adem ALTAN / AFP

It looks like Turkey’s bitterly contested presidential election will require a run-off in two weeks since neither President Tayyip Erdogan nor his opposition rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu could secure an outright majority in the first round of voting that took place on Sunday.

Beijing, in particular, has a lot at stake in the outcome of this vote, given that one of the central questions in the campaign is whether Turkey will look west to the European Union and the United States or align itself eastward with Russia and China.

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