Turkey votes for its president: Erdogan or Kılıçıtaroğlu

Presidential election

Turkey chooses its future this Sunday: Erdoğan or Kılıcedaroğlu

Turkey is voting this Sunday to decide between outgoing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and social democrat Kemal Kilicadaroglu.


Ballot for the second round of the Turkish presidential election on May 28, 2023.


there Turkey itself A repeat vote is being called on Sunday to end or extend the Erdogan era, which, if successful, would begin a new five-year term after two decades in power. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has completed his second term as president, said this An unprecedented second round As the favourite, he faces social democrat Kemal Klisateroglu.

For Emir Bilkin, a 24-year-old textile worker who votes in the popular district of Kasimpasa where Recep Tayyip Erdogan was born and raised, it’s obvious: “I’m going to vote for Erdogan, nobody but him,” he assures the youth. Male. I cannot vote for terrorists. On the other hand, in a residential area of ​​Sisli, Ersin Avsi, a 32-year-old salesman who was the first to arrive, believes that “a miracle is always possible” and the victory of the wider coalition. Resistance.

Spectators flocked

In the conservative district of Üsküdar on the Asian side of Istanbul, where the head of state voted, queues of voters formed before polling began at 8am (7am in Switzerland), despite rain. Kemal Kilicadaroglu voted for him late in the morning in the capital Ankara.

The presence of observers stationed by the opposition is particularly noticeable, the latter “five observers per ballot box”, which means that a total of one million people plan to monitor the ballot.

Two visions

Turkey’s 60 million voters (immigrants have already voted) who are called to the polls on Sunday are being offered two views of country, society and governance. stability at risk of autocracy with outgoing Supreme Leader, 69-year-old Islamic-conservative; Or a return to peaceful democracy, in the words of his opponent, a 74-year-old former civil servant.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a devout Muslim and former mayor of Istanbul, received 49.5% of the vote in the first round on May 14, testifying to the broad support given to him by the conservative majority, despite inflation. At least 50,000 people died and three million were displaced by the February 6 earthquake, including in devastated areas.

“The Arrival of Spring”

In front of him, the “Democratic Party” – grandfather democrat – Kemal Kilidaroglu, this trained economist who presented himself with white hair and thin glasses, could not take advantage of the severe economic crisis weighing on Turkish families and youth. He promised the “return of spring” and parliamentary rule, justice and freedom of the press. On Sunday, he called on his fellow citizens to vote to remove a dictatorial regime.

But Kemal Klisateroglu, who won 45% of the vote in the first round, looks like an outsider: despite repeated support from the pro-Kurdish HDP, he has 5 points in the polls. Assembly elections on May 14 resulted in a majority in Parliament. “Please exercise your right to vote,” Selahtin Demirtas, a prominent leader of his cell, the pro-Kurdish HDP, recalled on Twitter on Sunday.

Mobilization Challenge

Sluggish after the first round, dismayed that his side didn’t get the win it thought it had won, four days later Kemal Klisateroglu reappeared with less of a smile than the humble “Mr Everything” from his start to the campaign.

Lacking access to mainstream media and official television channels dedicated to the president’s campaign in particular, he fought back on Twitter as his supporters tried to galvanize voters door-to-door in major cities. Despite an 87% participation rate, 8.3 million registrants are at risk of not showing up on May 14.

Barring a surprise, the results are expected Sunday evening and will be scrutinized by Turkey’s allies, particularly within NATO.

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(AFP)Show comments

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