After two decades in power, Turkey’s powerful leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, appears to have the upper hand Sunday’s presidential election run-offAnalysts say.
Erdogan, 69, has repeatedly weathered massive political crises during his tenure, including mass demonstrations, an attempted military coup, allegations of corruption, a massive influx of refugees from the civil war in Syria, and the rise and fall of the Islamic State terror group on Turkey’s borders. The inflation rate will exceed 80% in 2022 A torrent of criticism over his handling of the earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people.
A Turkish political expert wrote: “The religious and nationalist right (in Turkey) have come out on top (after the first round of voting), led by a leader who promises to make Turkey great again after 20 years as prime minister and president.” Tuba Unlu Bilgic in a blog post The Center for European Policy Analysis, a think-tank.
Tight race in TürkiyeRecep Tayyip Erdogan and Kemal Kilicdaroglu preside over the presidential run-off
Turkish presidential elections: what is happening?
- On May 28, there will be a second round between Erdogan and his rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu after neither candidate received the support of at least 50% of Turkey’s 64 million eligible voters in a previous round. The May 14 elections ended with Erdogan receiving 49.5% of the vote. Kilicdaroglu got 44.9%.
What are the most important issues for voters in the Turkish elections?
- During the election campaign, Erdogan portrayed himself as an ally of Turkey’s Islamists, religious conservatives and nationalists who stood up to the West, boosted Turkey’s defense industry and took a hard line against hardline Kurdish separatists. Kilicdaroglu drew attention to the economic ruin of Turkey and the continuing devastating impact of earthquakes. Both sides benefited from anti-refugee sentiment.
Why Turkey’s presidential vote reverberates beyond its borders
- Türkiye is a strategic ally in NATO. Erdogan raised the country’s diplomatic profile, for example, by helping broker a grain deal between warring Russia and Ukraine and blocking Sweden’s membership in the military organization. It has also eroded Turkey’s democratic institutions, aggressively consolidating his power and making the country one of the world’s biggest jailers of journalists. President Joe Biden has called Erdogan an “autocrat”. Kilicdaroglu, relatively unknown outside Turkey, had promised to foster better relations with the West and return the country to a more secular and democratic path.
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Who got the advantage in Sunday’s run-off elections in Turkey?
- Ahead of the run-off, the momentum seemed to be with Erdogan. Not only did he receive more votes than expected in the first round, his right-wing political bloc secured a majority in separate parliamentary elections. Just days before the run-off, Sinan Oğan, who finished third in the first round, endorsed Erdoğan. that The Election Observation Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Although voting was generally free, Erdogan enjoyed an “undue advantage” because “restrictions on fundamental freedoms of assembly, association, and expression impeded the participation of some opposition politicians and parties, as well as civil society and independent media.”
If Erdogan wins, what will happen next?
- He could rule Turkey until 2029. Daron Acemoglu, professor of economics at MIT and co-author of the book Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Povertywrote recently Opinion article That Erdoğan’s success would be “good news for other right-wing populists and strongmen, such as Narendra Modi in India and Donald Trump in the United States, who will likely continue to use similar tactics and aggressive nationalist rhetoric to move their base and deepen polarization.” Acimoglu added, “With authoritarianism.” Often associated with economic mismanagement, what happens in Turkey will not stay in Turkey.” Erdogan said interview this week That Turkey has a “special” and growing relationship with Russia despite mounting pressure on Ankara to help cement sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
Dig deeper:The fate of the Black Sea grain deal between Ukraine and Russia hangs
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