Erdogan Amassed Power in Turkey. He Could Still Lose This Election.

ISTANBUL, Turkey — As President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey approaches the toughest election of his career on Sunday, he has marshaled many of the resources of the state to tilt the playing field to his advantage.

Mr. Erdogan, who has come to increasingly dominate the country over the past two decades, tapped the Treasury for populist spending programs and has raised the minimum wage three times in the last year and a half. His challenger barely appears on the state broadcaster while Mr. Erdogan’s speeches are aired in full. And this weekend’s vote will be overseen by an election board that, during recent votes, have made questionable calls that benefited the president.

And yet, Mr. Erdogan could still lose.

Recent polls show him trailing the main challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, in a tight race that could go to a runoff later this month. But Mr. Erdogan’s grip on the country could also contribute to his undoing, if voters drop him because of his strongman ways and

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This article was written by Ben Hubbard and originally published on