Turkey: Erdoğan, Kılıçdaroğlu Face Unprecedented Runoff

Image copyright: Reuters [via CNN]

The Facts

  • 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.

  • 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.


The Spin

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.


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