Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is very close to winning the presidential election ballot and obtaining a new mandate for the next five years: Erdogan has been in power in Turkey since 2003, and if he wins he could remain there until 2028.
According to both press agencies in the country, the pro-government Anadolu and Anka, close to the opposition, with almost all of the ballots scrutinized Erdogan is ahead by a few points over his opponent, the unitary candidate of the opposition Kemal Kilicdaroglu. The gap is less wide than many analysts expected, and show that in the ballot there was a partial comeback by Kilicdaroglu, who had gone far below expectations in the first round. It is quite difficult at the moment for Kilicdaroglu to overtake Erdogan.
The count of Anadolu and Anka is based on real ballots but it is not the official one of the government agency that deals with the elections, which carries out more checks and steps in the counts: the official count is about halfway through, and in any case gives Erdogan the advantage.
An Erdogan victory in the elections would be widely expected. The hopes of the opposition had seemed rather dashed after the first round, in which Kilicdaroglu had finished far behind Erdogan even though according to the polls he was the favourite. In the first round, Erdogan had obtained 49.5 percent of the vote and Kilicdaroglu 44.9.
Erdogan had arrived at the May elections extremely weakened: the Turkish economy is in very bad condition caused above all by Erdogan’s insistence on pursuing reckless economic and monetary policies. Furthermore, he had been the subject of serious controversy after the earthquake last February in the south-east of the country, due to the slowness in managing the relief efforts and due to the poor controls that his government had applied to the builders of many houses that were destroyed .
The opposition had tried to take advantage of these weaknesses by creating for the first time a very heterogeneous grand coalition behind Kemal Kilicdaroglu, an experienced and accommodating politician.
All these factors combined, however, were not enough to end Erdogan’s domination of Turkey. The very first data show that Erdogan has managed to maintain the full support of the central areas of the country, the more rural and economically backward ones which have always constituted his main electoral basin. As had already happened in the first round, however, Kilicdaroglu failed to convince the Kurdish-majority areas of south-eastern Turkey, although the HDP, the pro-Kurdish party, had given its implicit support to his candidacy.