Home Lifestyle Presidential elections in Türkiye: Recep Tayyip Erdogan comes first

Presidential elections in Türkiye: Recep Tayyip Erdogan comes first

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The results of Turkey’s presidential elections are close and the country is likely to head into a second round, with none of the candidates able to secure an absolute majority. On top of the ballot, current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has clung to power for two decades.

With nearly 99% of ballots counted, Recep Tayyip Erdogan She came first with 49.35% of the vote against 45% of the vote for her main competitor, Kemal Kilicdarogluaccording to many Turkish media.

A run-off between the two major candidates on May 28 is looking increasingly likely, as none of the candidates appear capable of securing an outright majority of more than 50%.

In the legislative elections, which also took place on Sunday, the coalition led by Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party looks set to secure a comfortable majority.

Appearing in front of supporters early Monday, the sitting president said he was confident he could still win the presidential race. However, he emphasized that if “our nation opts for a second round, that’s also a good thing,” according to News agency.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who campaigned on the promise of fighting hyperinflation and reversing some of Erdogan’s authoritarian measures, told his supporters: “We will definitely win the second round…and we will achieve democracy.”

The Supreme Electoral Commission of Turkey will announce the final count once all the votes have been counted.

The outcome of Turkey’s presidential election is likely to have major global consequences, with the country emerging as a major player as tensions between the West and Russia escalate in the wake of the latter’s invasion of Ukraine. Despite being a member of NATO, Erdogan’s Turkey has maintained friendly relations with Russia, and has even acquired military equipment from that country. This caused unease among its NATO allies and led to Ankara being denied access to modern Western military equipment, such as the F-35 fighter jets. Recently, Erdogan banned Sweden and Finland from NATO, accusing them of harboring groups that Turkey describes as terrorists. Erdogan ended up accepting Finland into the alliance, but Sweden’s bid to join was still blocked.

Erdogan led Turkey for more than twenty years, first as prime minister from 2003 to 2014 and then as president in 2014. Erdogan continued to consolidate his power during his tenure, after removing the role of prime minister in 2017, after a failed coup attempt against him a year earlier. Erdogan has been accused of being a tyrant by his opponents, and he has also cracked down on a free press and dissidents. However, Sunday’s elections seem to focus more on recent issues, including runaway inflation, the sharp depreciation of the Turkish currency and the devastating earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people earlier this year. Despite these setbacks, Erdogan appears to have done better than expected. In fact, polls showed that Kemal Kilicdaroglu had a slight lead over his rival.

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Celditia Ray

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