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Turkey heads for a runoff election


The Turkish presidential election took place this past Sunday. The battle between the current and conservative president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, will resume in a runoff election that will take place on May 28

In response to the announcement of a runoff election, both of the main candidates responded via Twitter. 

The current president states, “With the maturity it showed yesterday, Turkey has shown that it is one of the countries with the most advanced democratic culture in the world.”

Erdogan has been serving the Muslim-majority country as a prime minister first and then president for the past two decades. He has faced many troubles during his presidency such as high inflation, a battered economy, and even an attempted coup in 2016

He appealed to his conservative supporters through his divisive campaign that upheld anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs and secular principles. Erdogan has accused his opponent Kilicdaroglu of working with “terrorists” and “deviants” in an attempt to undermine him.

The initial round of voting put Erdogan in the lead with 49.5% of the votes, resulting in him failing to meet the necessary requirement of at least 50%. Kilidaroglu trailed behind with 44.9% of the votes and the remaining 5.2% went to a third candidate, Sinan Ogan. According to the council chairman, Ahmet Yener, the voter turnout for this election was 88.92%. 

Leading up to the election, Erdogan attempted to remedy the people’s economic problems by increasing wages and pensions as well as subsidizing gas and electricity bills

Kilicdaroglu assured his supporters on Twitter stating, “At the end of everything, it will only be what our nation says.” 

Kilidaroglu’s beliefs contradict the sitting Turkish president’s because he wants to bring a more democratic approach to government proceedings by bringing back a consensus leadership as opposed to the current centralized control. The opposition’s campaign has consisted of promises to remedy foreign relationships and address the increasing economic struggles. 

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