This historic election will determine whether Erdogan, who has been in power for more than two decades, will stay in power for another five years, or whether the chief executive will change command. These votes will also determine where the country, which is a major member of NATO, will move forward in its foreign policy.
A decisive day in Turquie. President and re-election candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan vs. Kemal Kirikdaroglu. It’s a presidential duel in which the more than 60 million people eligible to vote will have to make a decision on May 28 this year. The second round of elections in which the head of state faces the biggest political challenge in 20 years.
More than 192,000 ballot boxes nationwide will open at 8 a.m. local time and close at 5 p.m. local time.
Erdogan started as the clear favorite, winning 49.5% of the vote in the first round of elections held on May 14, beating Kirikda Rogul’s 44.9% by four percentage points. However, none of them won more than 50% of the votes, and the face-to-face meeting at the polling station was repeated.
Voters in the country of 85 million voters said early in President Erdogan’s presidency that he launched negotiations for Turkey’s accession to the European Union and reforms that would allow it to record economic growth that lifted many out of poverty. We are faced with a decision in the midst of high inflation. Today, however, the biggest concern of the public is the high cost of living.
In recent years, Erdogan has made a political shift to abolish the parliamentary system, abolish the post of prime minister and concentrate more power in the executive branch, a situation that has drawn him much criticism.
Opposition Kemal Kirikdaroglu, who represents a coalition of six political movements, has promised greater freedoms and international cooperation, but his speech has also focused on immigration to attract voters. It claims to be the cause of serious security and economic challenges.
Beyond the national arena, this Sunday’s election will determine the direction taken by key geopolitical players as members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Turkey has so far blocked Sweden from joining.
Erdogan voted in Istanbul and called for a massive vote
Incumbent president and re-election candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a message urging Turkish citizens to go to the polls after voting in Turkey’s most populous city, which is the historical, cultural and economic center of Istanbul.
After referring to his participation in the first round of voting two weeks ago, the Prime Minister said, “Turkey took part in the election by 90%, reaffirming its commitment to democracy… I urge you to go and remain true to democracy.”
Similarly, the president was optimistic that election officials would release the results quickly on this important day.
“I think today’s vote counting will go very quickly. It is important for Turkey’s democracy to see the presidential election,” he stressed.
“Liberation from tyranny”
Kemal Kirikdaroglu voted in the capital, Ankara. After the vote, Erdogan’s opponents urged all their compatriots to join the election campaign together.
“I call on all citizens to go to the polls with the aim of freeing them from oppression and establishing true democracy,” he said.
“Even though this election is being held under difficult circumstances due to attempts at deception, I believe the people are free and willing to go to the polls,” he added.