Turkish voters to vote for their next president this Sunday
One of the most significant elections of 2023 took place in Türkiye 11 days ago. Three candidates ran for the position, with none emerging victorious. Candidates have sped up their campaigns to be awarded the title “13th President of Türkiye.”
Turkish voters took to the polling stations to choose their next President and reshuffle the Parliament 11 days ago.
With the voting process finalizing at 17.00 Turkish Standard Time on the 14th of May, election officers immediately began the tally.
The old-school ballot system is still in use in Türkiye, meaning the counting takes a long time. It took more than 12 hours to process all the votes - more than 100 million ballots only in Türkiye - and publish the decisive results.
The Presidential election produced no clear winners, thus pushing the election two weeks into the future. The second round will be held on the 28th of May.
The current President of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, received the most votes again with 49.52 percent, equivalent to more than 27 million votes.
His primary contender, the candidate of the mainstream opposition Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, fell short of President Erdoğan’s performance, obtaining only 44.88 percent.
The third and last candidate was Sinan Oğan, who stood as the alternative to two long-time leaders in Turkish politics. He was affiliated with no party, though he received support from the far-right ATA Alliance. Oğan ended up garnering 5.17 percent of the votes.
Muharrem İnce, CHP’s candidate for the 2018 presidential elections, ran for the post as the candidate of the Homeland Party, though he dropped out of the race just three days before the election day. Despite this move’s arrival after voting abroad had ended, he managed to secure 0.43 percent of the votes.
PATH TO VICTORY
As the election process is still ongoing, the two remaining candidates have sped up their campaigns.
President Erdoğan’s promises cumulate around increasing the wages of government officials and pensioners. He also focuses on the immediate rebuilding of the cities the February 6 earthquakes destroyed.
In one Twitter post, he mentioned that the state is to allocate scholarships for quake-stricken students: “We will provide scholarships to all earthquake-affected students who lost their relatives in the earthquake or whose houses and workplaces were moderately or more damaged. In addition, we will turn the loans of those who receive loans into scholarships.”
Sinan Oğan endorsed Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after about a week of contemplating. President Erdoğan commented on this endorsement in a TRT program.
He said: “We clarified some of the points that he expressed. I think this union of forces will benefit our nation.”
ATA Alliance officially broke down with this move from Oğan, as Justice Party and Victory Party decided to support Kılıçdaroğlu.
ATA’s program focuses on the repatriation of immigrants, a group they deem to be the leading cause of multiple problems in Türkiye.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s campaign shifted in this direction after the first round of elections. He has been vocal about the economic bottleneck for quite some time and has made multiple promises to lower inflation to settle the cost of living problems.
Both candidates have focused on the significance of voting and protecting the ballots.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Twitter, “Almost everything in this life can be amended but the ballot box. We will never fall into complacency. We will firmly hold the ballot boxes. We will work hard until Sunday, and we will definitely show our will by going to the polls early on Sunday. We will make sure that our spouses, friends, and neighbors also go to the polls.”
Kılıçdaroğlu called on the non-voters to be present at the polling stations and said, “Patriots, come to the ballot box.” Beyond the invitations, he also expressed the significance of protecting the votes numerous times.