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In the days ahead of Iraq’s Oct. 10 parliamentary elections, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met rival Iraqi Sunni politicians Mohammed Al-Halbousi and Khamis Al-Khanjar with the apparent intent to unite the Sunni vote. The move highlighted Ankara’s new approach toward Iraq’s Sunni communities.
While they did not unite, Halbousi’s Al-Takaddum Front and Khanjar’s Al-Azm Front emerged as the two largest Sunni blocs in the polls. And while Turkey is satisfied with the election results, looking ahead, Ankara’s traditional support for Sunnis and Iran’s influence in Iraq will likely limit Turkey’s leverage. In this context, a policy shift from the Turkish leadership that would result in engagement with other Iraqi groups does not seem to be an easy task...
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