Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won his 11th elections in a row — a record by any elected leader in the world’s history.
Erdoğan got 54.16% of votes while his rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu remained at 47.84% in the runoff. Polls before the first round had shown that Kılıçdaroğlu would win. However, Erdoğan led elections by 49.5% in the first round and eventually became the president yesterday.
The opposition candidate Kılıçdaroğlu hinted that he won’t resign after the runoff. Analysts say there may be harsh debates in the party. Yet, Kılıçdaroğlu might still secure his seat as majority of party delegates were chosen by him.
Besides the united Turkish opposition, western media had overtly supported Kılıçdaroğlu, too, and called elections free but unfair. Turkish analysts opposed the claim. Ibrahim Karataş, an Associate Professor in international relations, said “Almost the whole western media supported Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu. He also allied with all opposition parties. It is correct that he appeared less in the mainstream media but social media served him more than any other candidate. If I was a candidate, I would prefer social media to TVs as the former is more influential”. Karataş also added that “Kılıçdaroğlu would still lose even if the state TV was dedicated to him. One reason is that he is not a charismatic leader and TV channels do not boost a person’s image. Second, he was not competent enough to race with Erdoğan. In last five years, Türkiye had grave economic crises, refugee problem, pandemic and twin quakes. These were all disadvantages for Erdoğan but Kılıçdaroğlu still couldn’t score the goal”.
Turkish opposition electorate also agrees that Kılıçdaroğlu was not the right candidate. However, opposition leaders are criticized for choosing him as their candidate.