Turkey’s Presidential Elections: What are the Results and What the Implications

The presidential elections have ended with a clear victory by long-standing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The winner was able to achieve a total of 52.14% of votes, while Kilicdaroglu solely the 47.86%.

Turkish elections have come to an end on the 28th of May, with a win by the current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. By winning against his popular opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu, he has ensured a third mandate, extending his rule to a third decade. 

Results of the second round of voting

The presidential elections have ended with a clear victory by long-standing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In fact, despite some predictions that had followed the results of the first round, Erdogan managed to defeat his adversary, surpassing the 50% of votes, necessary to secure the role as head of the state. The winner was able to achieve a total of 52.14% of votes, while Kilicdaroglu solely the 47.86%.

How can Erdogan’s win be justified

In the aftermath of the first round of elections, many had underlined the important role played by the candidate Sinan Ogan and, claimed that his support would be crucial to determine the outcome. The candidate chose to publicly endorse Erdogan before the second round of voting, boosting the winner’s popularity. Kilicdaroglu, on the other hand, was supported by the leader of the Zafer Partisi (Victory Party), Ozdag. 

While Ogan’s support for Erdogan might have played a part in the outcome, the votes were undoubtedly the result of a further element, which revealed itself to be once again extremely beneficial for the President. This is the feeling that is instilled in many that, during his presidency, he has managed to transform Turkey and render it a powerful country. Many of his supporters, in fact, believe that Turkey’s increasingly important role in the international arena and, its capacity to deal and converse with the most important foreign powers is the result of the work initiated by Erdogan. They believe, therefore, that his rule is crucial for Turkey, if the country wishes to remain a relevant power. This is the reason behind their vote for the winning candidate, despite his much controversial policies and the autocratic nature of his rule. 

What is the situation that the President faces

Despite the clear win and the messages of congratulations received from leaders from all over the world, however, the President will now have to face an extremely difficult situation. The country is clearly divided into his supporters and those who voted for Kilicdaroglu. These views will be difficult to be reconciled as the two sides supported opposite approaches. Erdogan will now have to reunite the population or work without upsetting the opposition excessively. 

A further problem, which has become increasingly clear, and that will represent a significant challenge for the leader is the catastrophic economic situation in the country, which is facing not only severe inflation rates but also an extremely devalued currency. These two problems have created an unsustainable situation among the population, which has been further worsened by the earthquake that took place in the early months of this year, whose consequences have not been tackled yet. 

What can we expect

President Erdogan has outlined in his victory speech the main problems that his administration will attempt to tackle in the next five years. These are mainly the severe inflation in Turkey, terrorism and immigration. As for the first, he has promised to continue cutting interest rates to reduce the inflation in the country. Regarding the second, he plans to continue and intensify his fight against terrorist organizations. Finally, as for the third, he has made clear his desire to bring back refugees to the North and other regions of Syria. 

A further point that can undoubtedly be expected in his third term is the fight against the LGBTQ community. His stance was made clear in the first moments following his re-election, when Erdogan has openly attacked the LGBTQ community, stating that the concept of “family must be respected and considered as sacred”. The head of the state then added that he will not let anyone from this community enter his party and that he will fight against all those who will try to challenge traditional values.  

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