May 19, 2023

Are Turkey’s Elections Legitimate?

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by Uzay Bulut, Research Fellow

Citizens of Turkey went to the polls on May 14 to cast their vote in the presidential and parliamentary elections, with official turnout reaching a record 88.9%.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and his main rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), went head-to-head in the election.

Erdogan scored 49.50% against Kilicdaroglu’s 44.89%. A third candidate, nationalist Sinan Ogan, picked up 5.17% of the vote.

The head of the Supreme Election Council (YSK), the highest electoral authority in Turkey, said no candidate secured the majority needed to win the elections. A run-off will therefore take place on May 28. It appears that Erdogan is in a strong position to win a third term…