Following Sunday's election in Turkey, the High Election Board has confirmed that there will be a runoff vote in two weeks between the country's two leading candidates, incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan and top opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Neither candidate secured the 50% threshold to win outright in the first round.
Despite this, Erdogan and his AK party's allies are expected to maintain a parliamentary majority, thanks to a high voter turnout that reached 89% of eligible voters - among the highest in the country's history. With 100% of the votes counted, Erdogan won 49.5% of the vote, outperforming even pre-election polls, while Kilicdaroglu received 44.9%.
As we noted previously, a real surprise - and disruptor for both sides - was a third candidate, Sinan Ogan of the ultra-nationalist Ancestor Alliance. He took 5.2% of the vote and prevented an outright win for the two leading candidates. Will Ogan endorse Erdogan or Kilicdaroglu in the runoff? This could be a major factor in determining the outcome in two weeks (May 28).
As Axios reports of Ogan, "He has said he would only consider endorsing Kılıçdaroğlu if the opposition leader promised not to make any concessions to a pro-Kurdish party. However, Kılıçdaroğlu needs Kurdish support to have any chance of victory."
But it remains that "Erdoğan will be heavily favoured in the runoff given his advantage in the first round and the likelihood that conservative Oğan voters could back him in the second round."
Axios reported that opposition politicians accused state media of intentionally skewing and manipulating the initial election results on Sunday, with some claiming that the opposition candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was actually ahead and might win in the first round. However, these claims were ultimately found to be inaccurate. Despite the controversy, President Erdogan greeted his supporters on Wednesday night and said he would welcome a second round of voting if necessary to secure his victory.
In a speech on Sunday evening, Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused Erdogan of obstructing Turkey's will, setting the stage for further political turmoil in the next two weeks. Kilicdaroglu claimed that the Erdogan camp has been contesting results from specific ballot boxes to impede the process. He further noted that some ballot boxes had been contested six to eleven times and accused them of "blocking the will of Turkey." Kilicdaroglu also emphasized that objections could not prevent what would happen and declared they would not allow a "fait accompli."
Dendias Reacts to Turkey’s election outcome: Erdogan’s
Speaking on Alpha Radio on Monday, Dendias remarked that contrary to Western predictions, Erdogan’s reign is not yet over. He emphasized that Turkey is a vast, in-depth country, making it challenging to gauge accurately through opinion polls.
When asked about Turkey’s aspirations and its desired role in the region, Dendias expressed his hope that Turkey recognizes the significance of maintaining a close and amicable relationship with Greece. He stated, “A strong and friendly relationship with Greece is not only important but also a necessary condition for Turkey to achieve its ambitions.”
Dendias highlighted that Greece stands to gain nothing but benefits from a prosperous and stable Turkey. He emphasized that “the key issue lies in Turkey breaking away from the ideology of neo-Ottoman domination.”
“We always remain hopeful for the best outcomes, but we also prepare ourselves for the worst,” Dendias said.