It was a fateful election for Turkey, the run-off election for the presidency. The first results are expected in the evening.
Ankara - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been in power in Turkey for 20 years. From 2003 to 2014, first as prime minister, from 2014 as president of the country - and most recently with a significantly expanded power. So far, he had little to fear from political competitors, the incumbent sat firmly in the saddle. However, in this election, the first run-off election for the presidency in Turkey's history, his chair wobbled more than ever before.
The latest polls pointed to a relatively close result, but in most of them Erdoğan was a few percentage points ahead of his Social Democratic challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who entered the race for an alliance of six parties. In the first round of voting, Erdoğan narrowly missed an absolute majority with 49.5 percent of the vote. Kilicdaroglu followed in second place with 44.9 percent, although polls had put him ahead of Erdoğan shortly before the election.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan or opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu - a run-off election will decide who will govern Turkey as president for the next five years. © Republican People's Party (CHP) Press Service/afp/Imago (Montage)
Run-off election in Turkey: When will the first results be available?
Around 61 million eligible voters were able to cast their ballots on Sunday (27 May) from 9 a.m. (8 a.m. local time). Voting lasted until 16 p.m. (17 p.m. local time). The vote was followed by international observers from the OSCE and the Council of Europe. Partial results, which initially have little significance, are expected in the evening. However, it could take until Monday for the final and, above all, official result to be available.
In the first round of voting, it was forbidden to publish election forecasts until 17 p.m. (18 p.m. local time), i.e. one hour after the end of voting. From then on, broadcasters were allowed to pass on the information of the supreme electoral authority YSK. It was not until 20 p.m. (21 p.m. local time) that it was finally allowed to publish all the results.
Erdoğan's victory, power is expected to expand
The fact that Erdoğan had done so well in the first round of voting, contrary to the last pre-election polls, came as a surprise to many experts. Not only because of the polls themselves, but also for other reasons, the president was considered counted. Mainly because of the poor economic situation in the country or the government's crisis management after the earthquake in spring, which progressed slowly.
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Political experts, such as Turkey researcher Caner Aver, believe that President Erdoğan's victory is likely. He does not believe that his opponent Kilicaroglu still has a realistic chance, Aver told the Catholic News Agency. If he wins again, Erdoğan is widely expected to cement his power and further intensify his authoritarian course. In 2018, he introduced a presidential system in Turkey and placed almost all power in his own hands.