Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan kisses a handmade Turkish flag, given to him as a gift from Ugandan university student Cemil (not pictured), during a graduation ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, June 11, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statesman-like appeals for Turkey's rival parties to leave egos aside and form a new government may suggest the combative leader has turned over a new leaf, but even those close to him wonder how long it will last.A masterful tactician who has built a career on playing the political underdog, Erdogan is in a tight corner after the AK Party he founded lost its parliamentary majority Sunday, thwarting for now his ambition of accumulating greater powers.The AK Party remains Turkey's largest party but its support fell to around 41 percent from 49.8 at the last parliamentary elections.In the event of a rerun, the AK Party would likely struggle to win back many Kurdish votes but could hope to regain those who turned to the MHP and now regret the prospect of an unstable coalition. After parliament is sworn in later this month, Erdogan is expected to formally give the AK Party the mandate to try to form a government.
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