Turkey will have a second round of voting for its presidency on May 28, after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fell short of the 50 percent threshold needed to win outright in Sunday’s election.
Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey for two decades, faced a strong challenge from Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of a six-party opposition alliance that campaigned on restoring democracy and civil rights in the country.
According to preliminary results, Erdogan had about 50 percent of the vote, while Kilicdaroglu had about 44 percent. The opposition accused the state-run news agency of manipulating the results and claimed that Kilicdaroglu was ahead.
The runoff election will be a crucial test for Erdogan, who has become increasingly authoritarian and polarizing in recent years. He has cracked down on dissent, jailed journalists and activists, and expanded his powers through constitutional changes.
The election also has implications for Turkey’s economy, which is suffering from high inflation and unemployment, and its foreign relations, which have been strained by Erdogan’s interventions in Syria and Libya and his disputes with the United States and Europe.
Both candidates claimed victory in speeches after the vote and urged their supporters to mobilize for the runoff.
- Turkey elections live: runoff ‘looking likely’ as Erdoğan’s future hangs in the balance | The Guardian | May 15, 2023
- Runoff in Turkey’s election appears more likely after dip in voter support for Erdogan | PBS NewsHour | May 14, 2023
- Turkey faces runoff election for president as Erdogan survives first test | Reuters | May 14, 2023