Elections in Turkey: the end of the Erdogan era?

The Turkish presidential elections were held today (Sunday) and the final results have not yet arrived, but it is very possible that the unbelievable will happen and the president who ruled Turkey with a heavy hand for about two decades – Recep Tayyip Erdogan – will lose to the opposition candidate.

Several Turkish news outlets provided different partial results from the election, with the state-run Anadolu news agency saying Erdogan was leading with 51 percent of the vote, while Kemal Kilicderoglu, his main rival, had 43 percent after 75 percent of the vote had been counted. The ANKA news agency said that with ballots counted from 76 percent of the polling stations, Erdogan won 48 percent to Kilicderoglu’s 46 percent.

However, Yu"The Election Commission of Turkey said that only 47.08% of the votes were entered into the system, so it is still too early to determine the results.

If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will face off in a runoff on May 28.

The opposition accused Anadolu, which is controlled by the Erdogan administration, of manipulating the results, and insisted that Kilicderoglu was slightly ahead with 47.42% over Erdogan’s 46.80%.

The mayor of Istanbul, Akram Imamoglu, who ran a campaign on behalf of Kilicderoglu, claimed that the inspectors of the ruling party "are regularly opposed" For the results from the polls that placed Kilicdroglou at the top.

Erdogan ruled Turkey as prime minister or president for about two decades. Until about a year ago, the idea that he would lose the elections seemed faint, when his control over the country, the courts and the media was only increasing. But his economic mismanagement that led to skyrocketing inflation and the deadly earthquake in February that killed more than 50,000 people and highlighted the failures of his rule posed Erdogan’s biggest challenge in perhaps 20 years.

Kilicderoglu, ran a campaign promising to return Turkey to a more democratic path and fix the economy plagued by high inflation and currency devaluation.

Voters also elected lawmakers to fill Turkey’s 600-seat parliament, which has lost much of its legislative power under Erdogan’s presidency. The opposition has promised to return Turkey’s system of government to a parliamentary democracy if it wins both the presidential and parliamentary ballots.

More than 64 million people, including 3.4 million overseas voters, were eligible to vote.

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. archives. Photo: Kremlin

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