Turkey Election: Erdogan to Triumph (Run-Off)

Turkey Election: Erdogan to Triumph (Run-Off)

Nuray Lydia Oglu, Kanako Mita, and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey looks set to continue in power after a tight election. He currently is on 49% – agonizingly shy of the 50% needed to avoid a run-off.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Erdoğan’s main contender in the election, is set to win roughly 45% of the vote. Accordingly, unless something dramatic happens between now and the run-off, Erdoğan is the clear favorite.

Erdoğan said: “The winner has undoubtedly been our country.”

He continued, “If our nation’s decision shows that the presidential election is over, there’s no problem. If our nation has made its choice in favor of a second round in the election, it is welcome to do so.”

Kilicdaroglu – more muted – said: “If our nation says second round, we will absolutely win in the second round.” 

The BBC reports, “It is unclear how close the expected run-off will be, and there is already considerable speculation over what will happen to the 5% of votes that went to the third candidate in the election, ultranationalist Sinan Ogan.”

Reuters reports, “Erdogan’s People’s Alliance, comprising his Islamist-rooted AK Party and its nationalist partners, also appeared set to win a majority in the new parliament with 321 of the 600 seats, further boosting his chances in the presidential runoff.”

Before the election, many Western media outlets had predicted the demise of Erdoğan. They countered the high cost of living, the slow response to the earthquake, the erosion of liberal values, the lira crisis, and other ills – which would entail Erdoğan’s defeat.

However, unless something dramatic happens between now and the likely run-off: it seems that Erdoğan will continue to rule Turkey because his grassroots base remains loyal.

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