Tayyip Erdogan extended his rule to a third decade by defeating Kemal Kilicdaroglu in Turkey’s presidential election on Sunday. Details of how the election was conducted are as follows:
What are the end results?
In the first round of elections on May 14, Erdogan received 27.13 million votes and his rival Kilicdaroglu 24.60 million, according to official results from Turkey’s Supreme Election Council. As none of the candidates received more than 50% of the votes, a run-off election was held on 28 May. 87.04% votes were recorded in the first round.
In the second round, according to unofficial results from state agency Anadolu, Erdogan received 27.73 million votes, more than 52% of the total, while Kılıkdaroğlu received 25.43 million votes. According to Anadolu data, the voter turnout was 84.22% on May 28.
In parliamentary elections on May 14, Erdogan’s Islamist-based AK Party won 35.61% of the vote, seven points lower than in the 2018 election. But his coalition, which included the nationalist MHP, retained a comfortable parliamentary majority.
Who are the candidates?
More than 20 years after he and his AKP came to power, Erdogan extended his tenure as modern Turkey’s longest-serving ruler. His strong performance in the first round of elections on May 14 belied predictions of his political demise when he succeeded in mobilizing nationalist voters.
He has transformed the secular state established 100 years ago into his holy Islamic vision, consolidating power in his own hands in what critics see as a march toward autocracy.
Kilicdaroglu was the candidate of the main six-party opposition party and the leader of the CHP, founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkish state. Kilicdaroglu also gained support from pro-Kurdish parties not formally allied in Turkey.
He offered a platform that included voters and promised democratic reforms, including a return to parliamentary rule and independence for the judiciary, which critics say Erdogan is using to quell dissent.
What was at the same time?
Erdogan has a mandate to continue to lead the country of 85 million people, a member of NATO. The country’s economy is mired in a cost-of-living crisis, which analysts say is largely caused by its divergent economic policies.
Erdogan’s policy of low interest rates pushed inflation to 85% last year and contributed to the lira losing a tenth of its value against the dollar over the past decade.
The lira hit a new record low against the dollar on Monday after Erdogan was re-elected.
Kilicdaroglu also promised to return to orthodox economic policies and restore the central bank’s independence.
Erdogan’s critics say his government has silenced opponents, eroded civil and human rights and brought the judiciary and other state institutions under its control, charges Turkish officials deny.
In foreign affairs, Turkey under Erdogan has deployed its military might in the Middle East and beyond, straining ties with Russia and further straining relations with the European Union and the United States.
Turkey, along with the United Nations, brokered an agreement between Moscow and Kiev that allowed Ukraine to resume wheat exports from Black Sea ports despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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