According to opposition representatives, some ballot boxes had been filled by the afternoon.
Sunday’s elections in Turkey were a referendum of sorts on whether President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s more than twenty-year rule would continue or the Muslim-majority country would move in a more secular, or secular, direction.
The presidential election was getting even prettier, and as expected, people turned up in great numbers. According to opposition representatives, some ballot boxes had been filled by the afternoon.
With regard to the counting of the results, Habertürk first reported slightly less than 88, but the readings on the pages of Habertürk and other Turkish media changed as the counting progressed.
About one-third of the votes had been counted at around 8.30 am.
Depending on the polls, a change of president was entirely possible. The opposition coalition’s candidate, Kemal Kilikdaroglu, came in first place in nearly all support measurements, but Erdogan also had the support of at least 40 percent of all voters.
“We need change, we have enough,” agricultural entrepreneur Mehmet Topaloglu told the AFP news agency after voting amid the ruins of February’s earthquake.
Opposition candidate appealed to the youth
Erdogan is seen as a hero by many conservative Turks who have seen progress under his rule. Religious supporters are also grateful for many of Erdogan’s policies, such as the decision to establish Islamic schools.
During Erdogan’s first decade in power, the economy began to grow and relations with Europe grew closer. The next decade was marked by social and political upheaval. For example, Erdogan responded to a failed revolution attempt in 2016 with measures so harsh that he became an embarrassing partner for the West.
This year, many Turks have been angry at how slow the government’s response to the state of emergency was after February’s devastating earthquake.
Kilicdaroglu, of the opposition coalition, offered a clear choice to foreign allies and Turkish voters. The 74-year-old opposition leader was close to securing more than half the votes needed to win in the first round, according to polls. Kilikdaroglu in particular seemed to attract young voters.
If necessary, the second round will be held on May 28.
allegation of western interference
During his campaign, Erdogan appealed particularly to his core supporters. He called the opposition, among other things, an interest group in favor of sexual and gender minorities that, according to him, takes orders from Kurdish groups and financial aid from the West. Ministers of the Erdogan-led administration and pro-government media spoke of a Western plan to stage a political coup.
The opposition was already worried about whether Erdogan was going to hold on to power at any cost. Erdogan himself assured that he would act according to democracy.
The election also saw voting for the 600-seat parliament. The results of parliamentary elections are not considered as important as presidential elections, as in Turkey’s current system the president is able to override parliament in decision-making.
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