Because he fell short of 50% in the first round, the incumbent faces Kemal Kilicdaroglu in a runoff. The candidates present divergent visions for the nation’s future.
Turkey’s presidential runoff today might extend Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule into a third decade.
On 14 May, neither Mr. Erdogan, 69, nor his opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu received the required 50 percent of the vote in the first round.
The campaign could have significant repercussions for Turkey and the rest of the world.
The incumbent’s surprising first-round performance in a cost-of-living crisis emboldened Mr. Erdogan.
The AKP, MHP, and others’ parliamentary election success boosted Mr. Erdogan. A vote for him, he claims, is a vote for “stability.”
When earthquakes struck the country earlier this year, however, the incumbent president was widely criticized for his slow response.
Mr. Kilicdaroglu, his 74-year-old opponent, is the candidate of a six-party opposition alliance and the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which was founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the modern originator of Turkey.
The election will determine who leads the 85 million-person nation of Turkey and how it is governed.
In a decade, its currency has lost one-tenth of its value against the dollar.
The election may also affect foreign policy. In recent years, NATO member has upset the West by fostering connections with Russia and Gulf states.
It is estimated that approximately eight million eligible electors did not participate in the first round of voting. In the runoff, both candidates will attempt to win over voters.
According to data from the Interior Ministry, Turkey hosts more refugees than any other nation on Earth, with approximately five million migrants, more than three million of whom are Syrian.
Sinan Ogan, the third-place presidential candidate, and a nationalist extremist, endorsed Mr. Erdogan based on the principle of “continuous struggle (against) terrorism,” referring to pro-Kurdish groups. He received 5.17 percent of the vote in the initial round.
Umit Ozdag, the leader of the anti-immigrant Victory Party (ZP), declared his party’s support for Mr. Kilicdaroglu after he said he would repatriate immigrants. In this month’s parliamentary election, the ZP won 2.2% of the vote.
Kurds, who constitute roughly one-fifth of Turkey’s population, may also be crucial in the runoff.
In the first round, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) endorsed Mr. Kilicdaroglu.
This evening, the results of the runoff are anticipated.