Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu officially to a second round to decide the presidency

After a stormy night in which current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan beat his rival Kilicdaroglu, but failed to win in the first round, the Turkish presidential elections are heading to a run-off.

None of the presidential candidates succeeded in exceeding the 50 percent threshold required to win the race.

Erdogan appeared triumphant when he appeared before a crowd of supporters shortly after midnight, declaring his willingness to lead the nation for another five years.

“I firmly believe that we will continue to serve our people in the next five years,” the 69-year-old president said to huge cheers.

Inconclusive estimates showed that Erdogan won 49.49 percent of the vote, and opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu came second with 44.79 percent.

Replay time

The first round of re-voting in the presidential election is supposed to take place on May 28. The Kilicdaroglu camp had initially objected to the preliminary results of the counting of votes and claimed that it was ahead

But the 74-year-old opponent looked a little desperate when he confronted reporters early on Monday and admitted a run-off looked inevitable.

“If our nation declares a run-off, we will definitely win the second round,” he said. He added, “The will for change in society is greater than 50 percent.”

Tension in Istanbul

It was a long night marked by tension, and this morning was also not devoid of that tension, given that

the outcome of the elections, which the voters generally wanted to be decided in the election, was not decided.

first round

Turkey will enter another two weeks of tension, in preparation for a run-off that no one wanted to go through, especially opposition supporters.

They are frustrated, given that opinion polls showed the ability of the opposition candidate, Kilicdaroglu,

to comfortably win the presidential elections in the first round

Two polls also showed the possibility of him obtaining more than 50 percent of the vote, so expectations of his victory were high

Opposition supporters felt that they were in a position of strength, so the outcome of the first round of elections was new to them.

Parliamentary election results

Turkish voters not only voted for a new president, but also for 600 seats in parliament

Erdogan’s party, the Justice and Development Party, won the most votes, but it faltered more than its leader.

The party won 35 percent of the vote, with more than 96 percent of the votes counted, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency

In light of the results received, it appears that the Justice and Development Party will win 267 deputies, which will lose 28 seats in parliament.

The coalition won 344 seats in the last elections in 2018

Opinion polls before the elections had indicated a stiff competition but gave Kilicdaroglu, who heads a six-party alliance, a slight lead, and two polls on Friday showed he would get more than 50 percent of the vote.

For his part, the third candidate in the presidential election, Sinan Ogan, who received about 5% of the vote according to the Turkish news agencies Anadolu and Anka, said that his bid for the presidency changed the outcome of the vote.

If the second round becomes official, Ogan will not be a candidate and his decision on who to ask his supporters to support could make all the difference, and he said he would decide in a few days.

A senior opposition official told Reuters that Erdogan’s party was raising objections to some votes, delaying full results. “So far they are doing everything they can to delay the process,” he said.

Paul Kirby, BBC digital editor for Europe, quoted Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu as saying that 7 million votes were withheld from the counting process because of these objections, and they all came in opposition strongholds.

He added that it was a tactic used by Erdogan’s party in the last seven or eight elections, as he claimed. and

For his part, Kilicdaroglu commented on what is happening, saying: “You are obstructing the will of the people,” and raised his voice in a brief but powerful speech.

Erdogan’s rival did not say who was trying to manipulate the vote, but it was clear he meant the AKP.

He again called on opposition party volunteers and officials to continue monitoring the count, saying, “We are here until every vote is counted.”

East or West: Which way is Türkiye headed?

Over the course of hundreds of years, the Ottoman Empire controlled what currently includes about 50 sovereign states.

Despite this, the once powerful empire, starting from the eighteenth century, fell into a state of continuous, long-term decline, and generations of Ottoman sultans gradually began to internalize the weaknesses of their state compared to Europe, so they began to borrow the idea of ​​institutions, laws and traditions from the great powers in Europe for the revival of the Ottoman Empire.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded modern Turkey in 1923 after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, cemented this model by remaking the country in his image as a secular society.

Ataturk copied the model of European countries, the world powers in the period between the two wars, in governing the country, in order to put Turkey on a path that would eventually revive the status and glory of the state.

Here comes the role of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who since 2003 has sought to remake the country in his image as socially conservative, politically Islamist, and supportive of the Middle East, with the aim of reviving Turkey’s status as a great power

Although his pursuit of Turkish glory is not unusual, he agrees, in many ways, with the long-term policies that shaped his country’s previous leaders, from the late Ottoman sultans to Ataturk.

However, Erdogan’s path differs from his predecessors. While others linked Turkey to Western countries and cloned Europe to restore the country’s influence on the world stage, Erdogan chose an unconventional model: his goal is to make Turkey strong on its own first, in the Middle East region, and then on the world stage.

Then in the end, Turkey is European and Middle Eastern, and I think it will eventually settle in a place between the visions of Ataturk and Erdogan, and adopt non-exclusive identities: European and Middle Eastern, secular and Islamic, West and East.

Source: BBC Arabic


Presidential elections/Turkey/Recep Tayyip Erdogan/Vote counting/Kılıçdaroğlu/Election results

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