Turkey’s veteran leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has emerged on the road to winning the presidential election and extending his rule to 30 years.
Erdogan had won 49.3% of the vote in the presidential election as of Monday, behind his main rival Kemal Kilzdaroglu’s 45%, according to preliminary results from state media, after a fierce campaign that raised hopes of a breakthrough for the opposition.
Erdogan and Kultzdaloglu are sent to a second round of voting on 28 May, with no candidate winning more than 50% of the vote, but the current candidate has a clear lead.
In addition to leading by more than 2 million votes against Kılıçdaroğlu in the presidential elections, Erdogan’s right-wing coalition won an absolute majority in the Turkish parliamentary elections, strengthening their position in all runoffs.
Erdoğan’s performance in Sunday’s polls overturned polls that gave Kılıçdaroğlu a significant lead in the final days of a hard-fought campaign.
The 74-year-old opposition leader has forged a broad coalition of centrist, nationalist and conservative parties, and has drawn outside support from Turkey’s main Kurdish bloc, against what he calls Erdogan’s “one-man rule”.
Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policies will continue to affect the country’s financial markets, which ground to a halt following Kılıçdaroğlu’s leadership in elections last week.
Bloomberg data showed the cost of protecting Turkey from default rose more than 100 basis points to 608 basis points on Monday, its highest level since November.
Türkiye’s stock market, dominated by local investors, also fell. The benchmark BIST 100 index was down 4.4%, while the banking sub-index was down nearly 9%. The lira is at its lowest level. “Markets will remain tense between the first and second rounds as Erdogan’s economic policies do not add up,” said Timothy Ash, emerging markets strategist at Bluebay Asset Management. Investors have been troubled by Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policies, including cutting interest rates despite running high inflation. There is also a deep concern about the country’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves and a boom in special savings accounts that the government will have to pay for if there is a sudden drop in the lira.
The pressing cost of living, a devastating earthquake in February that killed more than 50,000 people, and discontent with Erdogan’s authoritarian rule have energized the opposition, which believes Turkey’s longest-serving This is your best chance to wrest control from the leader. But Erdogan has reawakened his support base by focusing on wage issues, accusing the opposition of secretly collaborating with pro-Kurdish parties, accusing them of having links to terrorism, and offering generous pay raises and other gifts. alleged to have offered.
Erdogan declared victory overnight, speaking from the balcony of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters. The president sounded confident, singing a pop song to thousands of flag-waving supporters and announcing: Simultaneous parliamentary elections gave Erdogan’s right-wing allies a comfortable majority, putting them in charge of the economy and Turkish life. Should help them maintain a firm grip on other aspects of the U.S. if they win the runoff. Kılıçdaroğlu, whose campaign slogan was “Finished in the first round”, still had a defiant tone, saying “we will definitely win the second round” on Monday.
The ultra-nationalist Sinan Ogan, a third-party candidate, dropped out of the race with 5.2%. Oğan said that he was open to talks with Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu to distribute the electorate in the second round. But he said any deal would have to exclude the main pro-Kurdish movement, which won seats in parliament as a green-left party. Kılıçdaroğlu’s allies repeatedly complained about the vote-counting reports on Sunday night, claiming that state media was trying to “deceive” the public by flattering Erdoğan’s position. But the opposition, which initially claimed to be far ahead of Erdogan, downplayed its disagreements as vote numbers swelled.