In the first round on May 14, Erdogan who is seeking a fifth term after 20 years in the executive office received the most votes with 49.5%, a five point lead over Kilicdaroglu’s. His bloc, though, won a comfortable majority in the legislature in a parallel parliamentary vote.
Voter turnout in the first round on May 14 stood at nearly 90%. according to the Supreme Election Council (YSK), yet no single candidate received an absolute majority, taking the election to the first presidential runoff in Türkiye.
Turkish voters head to the polls on Sunday for the second time in two weeks, in one of the most decisive presidential races in the republic’s history and the first runoff for president.
According to Türkiye’s Supreme Electoral Council, more than 1.89 million people voted in Türkiye’s foreign missions by Thursday morning.
The election comes as Turkey is grappling with a economic crisis as well as struggling to recover from devastating earthquakes in February 6 that killed more than 50,000 people and displaced over 5.9 million across southern Turkey and northern Syria.
Analysts point out that despite facing the strongest opposition yet to his rule, Erdogan’s future does not look as dark as some predicted earlier this year.
Forecasts suggest a close race with Erdogan ahead. That said, the results from the first round defied pre-election predictions, when some opinion polls had projected Kilicdaroglu to win in the first round.
Erdogan received a key endorsement on Monday from Sinan Ogan, a nationalist former candidate who finished third in the May 14 elections, with 5.2% of the votes, giving the incumbent hopeful a significant boost.
Hours before the vote, political observers agree Erdogan appears poised to win, extending his tenure as the longest-serving leader in the history of the Turkish Republic.