Turkey’s opposition disputes early election lead for Erdoğan

Turkey’s opposition alliance has accused state media of “deceiving” the general public with early outcomes of Sunday’s election, underscoring the extraordinary battle between president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

Erdoğan has secured about 52 per cent of the vote, in contrast with simply 43 per cent for Kılıçdaroğlu, in line with figures collated by the state Anadolu information company, with simply over 60 per cent of ballots counted. In contrast, the Anka information company put Kılıçdaroğlu and Erdoğan neck and neck on 47 per cent, with round 50 per cent of the vote counted.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s allies on Sunday objected to information supplied by Anadolu, arguing that the calculations had excluded areas the place the opposition had carried out properly.

“My recommendation is ignore Anadolu company numbers as a result of they’re attempting to deceive you,” Ekrem İmamoğlu, the Istanbul mayor who is likely one of the high leaders within the “desk of six” coalition, stated on Sunday.

Imamoglu described Anadolu’s popularity as “under zero”, citing previous examples the place the company had given an outsized result in authorities candidates within the early levels of vote counting.

Kılıçdaroğlu stated in a tweet: “We’re forward”.

Sinan Oğan, a presidential candidate who broke from the ultranationalist Nationalist Motion occasion, has gained round 5 per cent of the votes, in line with each Anka and Anadolu figures.

His vote share is important as a result of it might forestall the 2 principal candidates from passing the 50 per cent required to keep away from a run-off election in two week’s time. Muharrem İnce, one other minor-party candidate, dropped out of the race on Thursday, however his title remained on ballots.

Polling centres had been busy throughout Turkey after greater than 60mn folks registered to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections that provide two broadly divergent paths for Turkey.

Turkey’s longtime chief Recep Tayyip Erdoğan votes in Istanbul © Turkish Presidency/dpa

Erdoğan, who first carried his Justice and Improvement occasion (AKP) to energy in 2002, confronted his hardest marketing campaign as he sparred with Kılıçdaroğlu. The outcomes will carry world resonance as a result of Turkey, a member of Nato, has performed an more and more essential function on the worldwide stage in recent times.

Kılıçdaroğlu has vowed to revive Turkey’s ailing economic system, convey the nation nearer to the west’s orbit and restore essential establishments which have been undermined throughout Erdoğan’s lengthy tenure, first as prime minister and now as president.

The 74-year-old opposition chief has recurrently campaigned with different standard politicians who’re a part of the “desk of six” coalition, together with İmamoğlu and Yavaş.

Polls revealed within the lead-up to Sunday’s election gave Kılıçdaroğlu an edge over his 69-year-old opponent, with Erdoğan’s dealing with of the nation’s $900bn economic system having severely dented his help. However analysts and even senior opposition officers warned in opposition to underestimating Erdoğan, who has dominated Turkish politics in a means no different particular person has since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk based the republic a century in the past.

Erdoğan, whose remaining marketing campaign cease on Saturday was attending night prayers at Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul, stays standard with conservative, pious voters in Turkey’s Anatolian heartland.

Polling stations were busy in Istanbul and Ankara, with queues seen in both cities
Polling stations had been busy in Istanbul and Ankara, with queues seen in each cities © Tolga Bozoglu/EPA/Shutterstock

At fiery marketing campaign rallies, Erdoğan has framed himself as the one politician who can safe a affluent future for Turkey and defend household values. On Saturday, he additionally accused Kılıçdaroğlu, a member of the minority Alevi sect in predominantly Sunni Muslim Turkey, of working with US president Joe Biden to defeat him, with out presenting proof.

Kılıçdaroğlu, in the meantime, known as on voters to “change Turkey’s future” by voting for his opposition alliance.

Faculties, that are the first voting locations, had been busy in Istanbul and Ankara on Sunday, with queues seen in each cities as folks ready to forged their ballots.

Amina, a 20-year-old first-time voter who didn’t give her surname, arrived at a polling station in central Istanbul with 4 members of her household, together with her 89-year-old grandmother. The household, which is Kurdish, joked that they’d cancelled out every others’ votes, with most backing Kılıçdaroğlu and the pro-Kurdish Inexperienced Left, whereas Amina selected “continuity” with Erdoğan.

There was additionally a major police presence on Sunday with bikes zipping up and down the streets of Istanbul and closely armoured vans and heavy crowd-control autos patrolling within the coronary heart of Ankara, the capital metropolis.

Süleyman Soylu, inside minister, stated 600,000 safety guards, police, gendarmerie, coast guard and safety guards had been on responsibility in response to “the district election boards’ name”.

Turks additionally on Sunday voted in parliamentary elections, which might shake up the stability of energy. An alliance between Erdoğan’s AKP and the ultranationalist Nationalist Motion occasion holds a majority within the legislative department.

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