Elections in Turkey The elections in the country conclude what

Elections in Turkey: The elections in the country conclude what will decide Erdogan’s future today

1 of 1 Montage shows Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kemal Kilicdaroglu at election campaign events in Turkey in May 2023 Photo: Portal Montage shows Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kemal Kilicdaroglu at election campaign events in Turkey in May 2023 Photo: Portal

Turks went to a crucial election on Sunday that could extend President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s twodecade rule or push the Muslimmajority country toward secularization.

The first official estimates are expected to be released around 3 p.m. Brazilian time.

Reelection candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared exhausted as he appeared to vote at his polling station in Üskudar, a conservative district in Istanbul, full of hope “A prosperous future for the country and Turkish democracy”.

Erdogan, who declined to forecast the outcome, stressed the “enthusiasm of voters,” especially in the areas hardest hit by the February 6 earthquake that killed at least 50,000 people.

Opposition candidate Kemal Kiliçdaroglu previously voted in Ankara.

Erdogan, Turkey’s longestserving head of state, has never come so close to losing office

“We miss democracy,” he explained with a smile. “You’ll see. Spring will come here, God willing, and it will last forever,” he added, referring to one of his campaign slogans.

In a deeply divided Turkey, the race to elect the country’s 13th president is likely to be evenly matched a century after the founding of the republic.


The country is polarized between the two main candidates: the 69yearold Islamic conservative President Erdogan, who has been in power for two decades, and his main opponent Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, 74, leader of a secular social democratic party, the CHP.

To secure victory in the first ballot, they need at least 50% of the votes plus one.

The third candidate in the running is Sinan Ogan, who gets few points in polls.

“The most important thing is not to divide Turkey,” said Recep Turktan, a 67yearold voter waiting outside his polling station in Uskudar.

Today, 64 million voters are entitled to vote in the country of 85 million people, who also elect their parliament. Voter turnout is traditionally over 80%.

This Sunday, which coincides with Mother’s Day in Turkey, voters are in high spirits and in a festive spirit.

Economic crisis

Kiliçdaroglu, leader of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s Republican People’s Party (CHP), the founder of modern Turkey, leads a sixparty coalition ranging from the nationalist right to the liberal centreleft party.

He also received support from the proKurdish party HDP, the third largest political force in the country.

In the last presidential election in 2018, the head of state won the first ballot with more than 52.5% of the votes. If he has to play for a second round this time on May 28th, it would be a big blow for him.

Erdogan promised to respect the results of the elections, which would be monitored by hundreds of thousands of election observers on both sides.

In this dispute we are dealing with a country plagued by an economic crisis, with a currency that has been devalued by half in two years and inflation that exceeded 85% in the autumn, on top of the dramatic earthquake in February that kept Erdogan’s omnipotence in check. .

His rival, Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, has opted for appeasement, promising to restore the rule of law and respect institutions that have been affected by Erdogan’s autocratic turnaround over the past decade.

According to polls, he won the majority of the 5.2 million young Turks voting for the first time with his, in contrast to Erdogan’s, quiet, short speeches.

For the political scientist Ahmet Insel, who is banned in Paris, “Erdogan’s defeat would show that we can leave behind an autocracy consolidated by the ballot box”.

As a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Turkey enjoys a privileged position between Europe and the Middle East and is a key diplomatic actor.