Turkey held a runoff presidential election between Kemal Kilicdaroglu and President Recep Tayyib Erdogan. Erdogan prevailed with more than 52% of the vote despite facing challenges caused by the economic situation and Turkey’s preparation and response to the earthquakes earlier this year on Sunday, May 28.
This came 2 weeks after an initial round where Erdogan fell .5% short of the required 50% to win outright. Erdogan has ruled Turkey as Prime Minister or President for over 20 years. According to Al Jazeera, “ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won re-election, according to the country’s Supreme Election Council and unofficial data from the state-run Anadolu Agency, in a tense run-off after he failed to secure more than 50 percent of votes required for an outright victory in the first round on May 14. With almost all of the votes counted, Erdogan received 52.14 percent of votes in the second round on Sunday, beating his challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who won 47.86 percent, according to the Supreme Election Council.”
This result will mean Erodgan will likely rule Turkey for at least 25 years, even longer than the founder of the modern country, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. In his victory speech, Erdogan promised to address the country’s challenges.
Despite his victory, this was the closest result Erdogan had ever faced. Erdogan declared it not just as his victory but a victory for Turkey itself.
According to Al Jazeera, “Erdogan added that healing the wounds of the February earthquakes and rebuilding the cities and towns destroyed in the natural disaster would continue to be among his priorities. “Our hearts and hands will continue to be on the earthquake region,” Erdogan said. In his first comments after it became clear that Erdogan would continue as president, Kilicdaroglu said that he would continue what he termed a “struggle for democracy.”
Kilicdaroglu said the loss was because the state apparatus had supported Erdogan and has not resigned despite calls to do so. Also, Erdogan emphasized his Islamic background in the campaign even holding one of his rallies at the Hagia Sophia which he reconverted to a masjid.