Your Monday Briefing

In a tough race, Erdogan is re-elected

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey beat the opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu in a runoff yesterday with 52.1 percent of the vote, according to Turkey’s Supreme Election Council, assuring the mercurial leader another five years in power.

Erdogan, who has vexed his Western allies in NATO while tightening his grip on the Turkish state, could remain in power for at least a quarter-century. His victory deepens his conservative imprint on Turkish society, as he pursues his vision of a country with increasing economic and geopolitical might.

His supporters shrugged off Turkey’s challenges, including a looming economic crisis, and lauded him for enhancing the country’s status as a Muslim power with 85 million people and critical ties across continents. Thousands gathered outside the presidential palace in Ankara, waiving red and white Turkish flags.

Victory speech: “It is not only us who won, it is Turkey,” Erdogan said to raucous applause. “It is our nation that won with all its elements. It is our democracy.”

Opposition: Kilicdaroglu told his supporters that he did not contest the vote count but that the election overall had been unfair, nevertheless. In the run-up to the vote, Erdogan tapped state resources to tilt the playing field in his favor.

Should a former Wagner mercenary receive asylum?

Andrei Medvedev, a Russian who claims to have deserted from Russia’s Wagner mercenary force during the battle for the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, is seeking asylum in Norway while providing information on Wagner to the authorities.

His unlikely journey has made Medvedev one of only a handful of publicly known Russian combatants to seek protection in Europe after participating in the invasion. His asylum request is now forcing Norway to decide a case that pits the country’s humanitarian ethos against an increasingly assertive national security policy and solidarity with Ukraine.

Since arriving in the country in January, Medvedev has attended interviews with Norwegian police officers investigating war crimes in Ukraine. He has described killing Ukrainians in combat and witnessing the executions of comrades accused of cowardice, but he claims that he did not participate in or witness war crimes, such as the killings of prisoners of war and civilians.

Pushback: Activists in Ukraine and Western Europe say that giving safe haven in Europe to Russian fighters, especially mercenaries like Medvedev, fails to hold Russians accountable for the invasion. He may also have complicated his own request with bar fights and detentions in Norway, and by briefly posting a video on YouTube suggesting he wanted to return to Russia.

Quotable: “It goes to the core of who we are in Europe,” Cecilie Hellestveit, a former member of Norway’s asylum appeal board, said. “It forces us to re-evaluate our approach to human rights in a way that we have not been willing to do until now.”

In other news from the war:

More than 40 drones were intercepted over Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, where city officials said at least one person had been killed, probably by falling debris.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia is signaling his strategy: Win the war by waiting out Ukraine and the West.

A debt limit deal in the U.S.

A day after striking a deal in principle with President Biden to raise the U.S. debt limit, Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his leadership team began to rally Republicans behind a compromise that faces harsh criticism from the wings of both political parties. Proponents hope to pass the legislation in time to avert a default, now projected by June 5.

House Republicans circulated a one-page memo with 10 talking points about the conservative benefits of the deal, including a cap on government spending, stricter work requirements for Americans receiving government benefits and cuts to global health funding.

Analysis: The deal bolsters Biden’s argument that he is committed to bipartisanship but comes at the cost of rankling many in his own party, Peter Baker, our chief White House correspondent, writes.


Around the World

Many Sudanese artists have fled the fighting in Khartoum, the country’s capital, leaving their work behind.

At least three people were killed after clashes broke out along the Iranian-Afghan border on Saturday.

Citizens of three Pacific Island nations who have served in the U.S. military struggle to access the medical benefits they have earned as veterans.

A U.S. lawyer representing a man who sued an airline relied on ChatGPT to help prepare a court filing. It did not go well.

Two people in the U.S. have died and more than 200 others are at risk after an outbreak of fungal meningitis at clinics in Matamoros, Mexico.

From Opinion

Adam Grant writes: Our most harmful relationships are the ones that are a mix of positive and negative.

The humanities imbue society with wisdom, Maureen Dowd says.

Molly Worthen explains why students are hungry for a low-tech, introspective educational experience.

The American right is all wrong about masculinity, David French writes.

The philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah answers: What do you owe a parent whom you have no contact with, do not respect and never want to see again?

A Morning Read

Eight years ago, Ryyan Alshebl, a Syrian refugee, crossed the Mediterranean Sea by dinghy and trekked across Europe on foot, eventually seeking asylum in Germany.

Now he is the mayor of Ostelsheim, a small, tight-knit village in southwestern Germany that is believed to be the first German town to elect a mayor from the nearly one million Syrian refugees who reached the country in 2015. Here’s how it happened.


Soccer has a time-wasting problem. How does the sport solve it? Several high-profile examples of painful bouts of slow play have forced soccer’s governing body to search for solutions.

The inside story of Germany’s day of glorious chaos: Great goals, penalty misses, a video review controversy, ill-advised T-shirts … the final day of Germany’s title race had it all.

Why the Women’s Super League is more competitive than ever: Chelsea is a champion for a fourth season in a row, but the strength of the league is helping push it to new heights.

From The Times: On the first day of the French Open, a rare statement of defiance against the war in Ukraine by an athlete from Belarus or Russia.


Farewell to ‘Succession’

The finale of HBO’s “Succession” has aired, putting to bed (or not) the question of who inherits the media empire of the late tyrant, Logan Roy, writes James Poniewozik, the Times chief television critic. (Don’t worry, we won’t spoil it for you.)

“Like ‘Mad Men’ before it, ‘Succession’ is a drama that also happens to be the funniest thing on TV any given week,” James writes. And like “Dallas,” it is a prime-time saga that uses delicious dialogue and sibling rivalries to explore the particular nature of wealth in its time. One difference: Today, the very rich are very, very, very richer.

There is yet another important distinction, James writes. “I once wrote that ‘Succession’ viewers ‘can enjoy it knowing that we have no stake, except for the tiny fact that people like the Roys run the world.’ This final season has emphasized that that is a very big ‘except.’”

More on “Succession”:

Read a recap of last night’s episode (warning: it contains spoilers).

Are you a “Succession” superfan? Test your knowledge with a quiz.

The show’s costume designer on why she always starts with shoes.

Jess quit. Kerry was in tears. What it’s like to be an assistant to the ultrawealthy.


What to Cook

Meera Sodha’s simple chicken curry should be on your rotation.

Summer Reading

47 new books to take on vacation.


“Anatomy of a Fall,” directed by Justine Triet, won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Roost (four letters).

And here are today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Hope you had a fabulous weekend. — Natasha

P.S. Our Asia-Pacific Briefing asked readers to share songs that remind them of home. Here’s a playlist of submissions.

Friday’s episode of “The Daily” is on the potential for a U.S. debt default.

You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].

Natasha Frost writes the Europe Morning Briefing and reports on Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific from Melbourne, Australia. @natashamfrost

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