June 9, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Turkey’s presidential election seems hesitant, Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu accept a possible second round

With 99 percent of the votes counted, Erdogan won 49.4 percent of the vote, followed by Kilicdaroglu with 44.96 percent. This was stated by the head of the Turkish Electoral Commission, Ahmet Yener, on Monday morning.

The few votes yet to be counted will go to Kilicdaroglu instead of Erdogan as they still have to come mainly from the cities. This means that in two weeks, on May 28, a second round will be held between Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu. This will be the first time in the history of the Republic of Turkey that a second round is required. The third candidate, Sinan Ogan, was eliminated and ended up receiving 5.2 percent of the vote.

Erdogan: ‘2.6 million votes are ahead of us’

Erdogan said overnight that he would respect it if a second round of voting took place. However, during his first public appearance since polling stations closed, he stressed that he had a “clear lead” over Kilicdaroglu.

“We don’t know yet if there will be a second round, but the will of the people must be respected by everyone,” Erdogan told his supporters. However, Erdogan warned that he could still win in the first round, though it may be some time before preliminary results are released. According to Erdogan, he is 2.6 million votes ahead of his rival.

Turkish President Erdogan and his wife, Emine, in Ankara on Sunday evening.A.P.’s photo

‘He’ll win the second round’

Kiliçdaroglu will also accept a second round of elections if requested by that country. “And we will absolutely win it,” he said on the night from Sunday to Monday, surrounded by representatives of the six parties in his coalition. “Erdogan did not achieve the result he was counting on despite all the insults,” the opposition leader said.

The opposition candidate said, “If our nation asks for a second round, we will surely win the second round.” “The desire for change in society is greater than 50 percent.” He called on his supporters and party observers to remain present until the end of the count. “Do not leave the polls and the polling stations,” he said in Ankara on Sunday night. “We will stay until every vote is counted.”

Kilicdaroglu said that in many provinces where the opposition is strong, not all votes have been counted yet. He also blamed Erdogan’s party, the AKP, for derailing the system with back-to-back objections if the opposition proves victorious.

In Ankara, there were objections at 300 polling stations. In Istanbul in 780, it appears. “There are jars where eleven times were saved. What they are preventing is the will of Turkey. It will not prevent what is to come.”

Turkish presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu flanked by the leaders of the six parties in his coalition.  ANP/EPA image

Turkish presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu flanked by the leaders of the six parties in his coalition.ANP/EPA image

“Security and stability”

Erdogan also declared his victory in the parliamentary elections. “The majority supporting the government coalition is emerging,” she added. According to the president, the electorate wants “security and stability,” referring to the possibility that parliament and the president may conflict with each other if they are of a different ideology.

Opposition leaders, such as the mayors of Ankara and Istanbul, said earlier Sunday that the dates indicated Kilicdaroglu would become president and that figures from Turkish state media should be ignored. For example, Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas said that with 23.87 percent of the votes counted, Kilicdaroglu was already ahead. The latter himself is unambiguous about the course of the vote: “We are responsible,” he said in his first reaction.

Erdogan, who appeared, according to Al-Jazeera, surprisingly in Istanbul on Sunday evening, said on Twitter that these reactions to the results are premature and mean that “the national will is making their own.” Kilicdaroglu then posted on Twitter: “We will not sleep tonight,” warning that all ballots must be counted.

Supporters of Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu took to the streets on Sunday night to celebrate the victory. The only certainty at the time was that the exciting fight that had been predicted seemed to actually happen.

Attendance Record

It is clear that the significance of this ballot box, in which Erdogan faced a real challenger for the first time in years, has also reached the Turkish people. Preliminary estimates put the participation rate at close to 90 percent. The centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP), which leads the coalition of opposition parties, reported a record turnout. In the previous elections in 2018, 86.2% of the electorate voted.

Despite the high stakes, the elections went off without a hitch, according to Ahmet Yener, the head of YSK, the Turkish electoral body.

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