Turkey elections in the ticker: election observer calls for equal opportunities before the runoff election

Chief election observer calls for equal opportunities before runoff election in Türkiye

Tuesday, May 16, 03:07: Before the run-off election for the presidency in Turkey, the coordinator of the election observation missions of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, Michael Link, called for more equal opportunities. The mistake that the government side is clearly preferred in the media should not be repeated, the FDP politician told the “Tagesspiegel” (Tuesday).

Incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan and opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu will face off in the run-off election on May 28.

Regarding the first round of elections last Sunday, Link said there had been irregularities, not so much on the day of the election itself, but during the election campaign beforehand. “This election was characterized by a very outstanding media presence by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and it was consistently positive. Opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, on the other hand, had major problems being featured in the media. When he did, it was mostly negative,” Link said.

So far, his team has not found any errors in the count “in the sense of manipulation or forgery,” said Link. The “very non-transparent way in which the highest electoral authority presents the results” urgently needs to be improved.

State media: Erdogan scores victories in Turkish earthquake region

6:16 p.m.: In the Turkish earthquake region, support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hardly waned. According to preliminary information, Erdogan won the presidential elections in seven of the eleven affected provinces. This came from figures from the state news agency Anadolu on Monday. In 2018, people in nine of the eleven provinces voted for him. Erdogan had won in Adana and Hatay, albeit very narrowly.

After the devastating earthquakes in early February, a storm of criticism descended on the government. She was accused of taking insufficient measures beforehand and afterwards to deal with the disaster. Erdogan repeatedly argued that this was due to the scale of the disaster and not to his government’s failure.

Reliable figures on voter turnout were initially not available. According to the government, several million people left the region after the disaster. For example, parties offered voters free transport back to the regions in which they were registered to vote.

Election researchers confident: “Erdogan will also win in the second ballot”

2:58 p.m.: Turkish election researcher Özer Sencar is certain that Recep Tayyip Erdogan will win the runoff election for the office of Turkish President. “The election is over. Erdogan will also win in the second ballot,” says the demoscope from the Metropoll Institute in Ankara in an interview with the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“.

Sencar gives several reasons for this. “His regular voters are about 30 to 32 percent of the population. At Kilicdaroglu it’s around 20 points,” says the researcher. In addition, Erdogan “won all elections in which he participated for 25 years. Kilicdaroglu lost all elections in which he participated. So Erdogan has a track record.”

Also, the history of the polls speaks for the incumbent. “In all our investigations, Mansur Yavaş and Ekrem Imamoglu were higher than Erdogan. But Erdogan was always ahead of Kılıcdaroglu except in the last poll. According to our research, Kılıcdaroglu was the candidate who had no chance of winning against Erdogan.”

According to Sencar, the opposition was of the opinion that anyone who competes against Erdogan wins. He sees that as a mistake. “Erdogan is not someone anyone can defeat. Citizens expect a track record of success and strong leadership in the leader who will win the election.”

Another reason: Kilicdaroglu could not win the votes of the candidates who have now been eliminated. “All the votes for Sinan Ogan come from nationalists and ultra-nationalists. 60 percent of the parties they voted for are the MHP and the IYI party. Therefore, it is not possible for Kilicdaroglu to win over these voters. Even if Sinan Ogan were to recommend Kilicdaroglu for election, they wouldn’t follow it,” speculates Demoskop Sencar.

High electoral council confirms: Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu will go to run-off on May 28th

2:48 p.m.: Incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan and challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu go to a runoff for the office of the Turkish president. Neither of the two could achieve more than 50 percent of the votes and thus an absolute majority. This was confirmed by the High Electoral Council on Monday afternoon.

This means that there will be a runoff election on May 28th, in which the election will be decided.

Pro-Kurdish opposition party sobered up after election

1:10 p.m.: The pro-Kurdish opposition party HDP has expressed disillusionment with the provisional outcome of the parliamentary and presidential elections in Turkey. The final results have not yet been determined, “but it is perfectly clear that we are behind our goals,” said co-party leader Mithat Sancar on Monday in Istanbul.

In the parliamentary elections, the HDP ran under the banner of the Green Left Party because of a ban procedure. In the presidential elections, she called for support for opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu. According to the electoral authority, incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ahead in the race for the presidency, but will probably have to face a runoff against Kilicdaroglu.

The electoral authority has not yet commented on the distribution of seats in parliament. However, both data from the state news agency Anadolu and the agency close to the opposition Anka suggest that Erdogan’s government alliance can hold the majority in parliament. The YSP has provisionally 62 seats and would have lost five seats compared to the performance of the HDP in 2018.

Sancar said it was not meant to be an apology, but it was well known that the campaign was being conducted “under very difficult conditions”. The closing procedure against his party was an important factor. “Also a factor is the repression directed against us and systematic and intensive psychological warfare tactics against our party,” said Sancar.

Election authority: Erdogan in front, but without an absolute majority

12:35 p.m.: According to figures from the electoral authority, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ahead after counting almost all the votes cast in the country. However, he just missed an absolute majority: Overall, he came to 49.40 percent, said the head of the authorities Ahmet Yener on Monday, according to the state news agency Anadolu. 99 percent of the domestic ballot boxes and 84 percent of those from abroad have so far been counted. Kemal Kilicdaroglu from the CHP would have almost 45 percent. The candidate of an ultra-nationalist party alliance, Sinan Ogan, comes to 5.3 percent.

As things stand at present, a runoff election between Recep Tayyip Erdogan from the AKP and Kemal Kilicdaroglu from the CHP is the most likely scenario. This happens when none of the candidates can unite more than 50 percent. That would take place on May 28th. How third-placed Ogan’s supporters vote could make a difference in the outcome given the close race. However, Ogan’s electorate is considered divided.

Voters with a Turkish passport in Germany and other countries would be able to cast their votes for the runoff between May 20 and 24.

In Germany, Erdogan is only not ahead in Berlin

10.45 a.m.: In the Turkey election, the votes of more than 78 percent of those entitled to vote in Germany have been counted. As in 2018, President Recep Erdogan (AKP) is ahead with a clear majority. “CNN Turk” reported 340,485 votes (64.98 percent) for Erdogan and only 172,720 (32.96 percent) for challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu from the social-democratic CHP.

However, the regional differences are large. In Düsseldorf – where more than 86 percent of the votes have already been counted – Erdogan is over 70 percent. The same applies to Münster and Kassel. In Essen it is even more than 77 percent. Things are different in Berlin. There, too, around 86 percent of the votes have been counted. Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu are going head-to-head with the challenger having a slight advantage (both around 49 percent). Only here does Erdogan not achieve a value of at least 60 percent.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, Erdogan’s supporters have traditionally been particularly strong. In Essen, the AKP already achieved its best results in 2018. At the same time, she did the worst in Berlin even then. Around 1.5 million voters are registered in Germany. This group represents almost half of all eligible voters abroad.

Outsider Ogan wants to consult with supporters after Turkey’s elections

Monday, May 15, 08:13: After the presidential elections in Turkey, third-placed and outsider Sinan Ogan and his supporters want to explore how to proceed. In view of the likely runoff between incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan and challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu, he considered it a success that his camp could play an important role. “Our people can rest easy. We will never allow Turkey to get into a crisis,” Ogan said in Ankara on Monday night.

According to the electoral authority, Erdogan is ahead in the race for the presidency, but will probably have to face a runoff. Accordingly, the President received 49.49 percent of the votes, opposition leader Kilicdaroglu 44.79 percent. The final results have not yet been announced. It was unclear when to expect that.

Ogan of the ultra-nationalist Ata Alliance came a distant third with around 5.3 percent. Should he make an election recommendation, this should be important for the outcome of the probable runoff election.

Turkish opposition candidate Kilicdaroglu promises victory in runoff election

2:31 a.m.: The opposition candidate in Turkey’s presidential election, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, has vowed to win a possible run-off election in two weeks after almost all the votes have been counted. If the results of the first ballot make a runoff necessary, “we will definitely win the second round,” Kilicdaroglu told journalists. “The will to change in society is higher than 50 percent,” he added.

Jean Harris

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