Erdogan supporters hold up a sign as they march with Turkish flags wrapped around their shoulders on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul.
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is fighting back, desperate to restore his absolute grip on power in a new vote Sunday after his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) lost its majority five months ago.Refusing to admit defeat, Erdogan torpedoed efforts in the weeks that followed to form a coalition government, and declared there was nothing for it but to hold fresh elections.Experts warn that Erdogan, who became Turkey's first directly elected president in 2014 after over a decade as premier, will not be willing to join forces with anyone who might act as a brake on his power.Even the party that shares the AK Party's conservative voter base – the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) – is demanding that Erdogan step back from daily politics as a condition for joining any coalition.Before the last election, Erdogan was giving daily campaign speeches – against the rules of the constitution – to try to ensure the AK Party won enough votes to clinch the 400 parliamentary seats needed to change the system.
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