Turkey: Erdoğan, Kılıçdaroğlu Face Unprecedented Runoff

    Turkey: Erdoğan, Kılıçdaroğlu Face Unprecedented Runoff
    Last updated May 15, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters [via CNN]


    • Turkey's Supreme Election Council on Monday announced that the presidential election is going to a runoff for the first time in history, as incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu failed to pass the threshold of 50% of the vote.[1]
    • The closely watched presidential race, which has focused on domestic issues such as the economy, governance, civil rights, and the handling of a deadly earthquake in February, will now be decided on May 28.[2]
    • With 99.87% of the votes counted [and tallies still in flux], Erdoğan was leading with 49.5% of the vote, with Kılıçdaroğlu second at 44.89%, according to the Anadolu Agency. Nearly 87% of the more than 64M people eligible to cast a ballot at home and overseas voted.[3]
    • People's Alliance candidate Erdoğan, who is seeking a third consecutive presidential term, has been in power for two decades, while Kılıçdaroğlu is the unity candidate of the six-party opposition camp Nation Alliance.[4]
    • In the two-week run-up to the second round, both sides are expected to court the third candidate Sinan Oğan, who got 5% of the vote, even though it's uncertain whether his voters would follow Oğan's suggestion.[5]
    • Preliminary results provided by the Anadolu Agency also indicate that the ruling People's Alliance has garnered the most votes for parliament.[3]


    Narrative A

    The Turkish people, which have had enough of Erdoğan's autocratic rule, can vote to establish the rule of law, rebuild Turkey's economy, and slash inflation and unemployment while introducing greater checks and balances by strengthening parliament. Most importantly, Kılıçdaroğlu promises a less polarized, more peaceful society that can celebrate its cultural diversity rather than vilify it.

    Narrative B

    Preliminary results have shown that the Turkish voters are the masters of their own destiny despite rogue efforts by the international media to influence the Turkish people to vote against Erdoğan and the ruling People's Alliance by openly calling for them to be ousted. Such attempts to interfere with a nation's sovereignty, which have been recurring over the years, are unacceptable.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 70% chance that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will win the 2023 Presidential Election in Turkey, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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