Turkiye todays election Erdogans appeal Kilicdaroglus promise

Türkiye, today’s election: Erdogan’s appeal, Kilicdaroglu’s promise

Acting President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, yesterday made a final appeal to his constituents to turn out en masse today, the day of Turkey’s presidential elections, and demand “a great victory”. In a tweet, Erdogan challenges the opposition candidate Kemal KilicdaroğluHe urged to “start Turkey’s century with our voices”.

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According to reports from Anadolu Agency, polling stations will remain open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are over 60 million potential voters, while the Supreme Electoral Council said nearly 1.9 million Turks have already voted abroad.


A tightrope walker who walks on the edge without realizing the risk. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s political actions have always been a constant risk. And even during his last term in office, he remained true to the line between “impossible” mediations in Ukraine, the conflict with NATO over the accession of Finland and Sweden and the preparations for new military operations against the Kurds in Syria.

And there would still be dozens of issues for a leader who has been in power for 20 years and continues to amaze. It’s a continuous relaunch, with new fronts (and clashes) opening up while others end with a handshake. Today, despite the health problems revealed during the election campaign, he is preparing for the well-established result of which he is the absolute winner: the election victory. This time, his path met fierce opposition as ever, who banded together to block his path. But there are many who believe a majority of his name will end up at the ballot box.

At the international level, Erdogan, once a firefighter and arsonist, has been playing at several tables at the same time in recent years with a secret dream: to host a historic meeting between Putin and Zelenskyy on Turkish soil. Getting the two heads of state and government to make peace is a concern and a declared goal of the Sultan, who achieved the major goal in March 2022 by receiving the foreign ministers of the two warring countries in Antalya.

However, mediator Erdogan achieved a great result by signing the agreement in Istanbul, which unblocked grain exports from Ukraine, thus averting a global food crisis. A diplomatic success to which the Turkish President, who is currently one of the few world leaders who can hold a dialogue simultaneously with Zelenskyy and Putin, responded a week ago by giving the green light for the agreement to be extended by two months. And through his reckless crossings from one front to the other, he also facilitated the exchange of prisoners between sides.

But Erdogan’s hand cannot just be a feather. In the Ukrainian context, too, the Turkish leader has waged a bitter political struggle against Sweden and Finland joining NATO. The two Scandinavian countries, cowed by Russian warmongering, asked the alliance for hospitality and received cheering messages from all members. All but two: Orban’s Hungary and, of course, Turkey.

After granting Helsinki accession, Ankara is forcing Sweden to associate certain figures with the PKK or the Gülen network, movements considered terrorist groups. A tug-of-war, the one with Stockholm, which has no winners at the moment, but the only certainty in life is that Erdogan will get something back in the end, as his approach to the refugee crisis also teaches the EU.

Meanwhile, the Turkish president is tying up his regional fabric and creating new alliances. In fact, he made peace with the Emirates and Israel and started a “new era” in relations with Saudi Arabia after a cold snap following the horrific death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at his country’s consulate in Istanbul at the hands of Gulf killers. A rapprochement sanctioned by Erdogan’s visit during the reign of King Salman was reciprocated by the visit of the Saudi heir to the throne, Mohammed bin Salman, to Ankara.

In the background, but not so much, is the new campaign in northern Syria against the Kurds, which the Turkish president has been threatening for some time but now appears to have been shelved in the name of a possible reconciliation with Assad and the clash with Greece.

But Erdogan will play the decisive game for his political destiny today. He was Prime Minister from 2003 to 2014 and Head of State since then. Through a controversial constitutional referendum in 2017, he led the country from a parliamentary to a presidential system. Polls will show whether the sultan was right this time, too.


Kemal Kilicdaroglu, 74, a social democrat, is the man chosen by the opposition – not without controversy, to be honest – to revolutionize the Turkish political scene and end Erdogan’s twenty-year rule. The leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the largest opposition force in Turkey, is ready for the final showdown with the sultan. A difficult feat, given the results of the first round, but not impossible, according to his entourage, who have repeatedly pressed the Syrian repatriation button in recent days to seek consensus among nationalists.

To become president, Kilicdaroglu assembled an electoral cartel that was not exactly homogenous from a political point of view (ranging from openly left forces to the far right) and whose leaders were not all convinced at first that they would agree on his name. In fact, the announcement of his possible candidacy had split the opposition with the exit from the Good Party (Iyi) bloc, the second force after the CHP, whose leader Meral Aksener preferred that of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, or as an alternative to Ankara , Mansur Yavas. The compromise that saved the opposition’s seeming unity is that in the event of victory, the two mayors will be Kilicdaroglu’s deputies.

The CHP leader has been at odds with Erdogan for many years, as shown by the court hearings, in which he has always lost, and has not had any major electoral successes against the sultan in his political career since 2010. Kilicadorglu was first elected MP in 2002 and lost in the 2009 local elections in Istanbul. However, he was elected CHP leader in a referendum the following year.

The 2011 elections went relatively well, as the party achieved a 26% consensus gain, albeit nearly doubled by Erdogan’s AKP. An almost similar result was achieved in 2015, while in the 2018 election the CHP’s candidate Muharrem Ince (who announced his retirement just days before the first round this year) was just over 30%.

In 2016, he escaped unhurt after the car he was traveling in in the Black Sea province of Artvin got into a collision between gunmen and soldiers. According to the Sabah newspaper, two soldiers were killed in the clash. One of his advisors explained that it was not an attack on him.

In 2017, he again drew international media attention when he led a peaceful march from Ankara to Istanbul to demand reform of the judicial system. The trigger for Kilicdaroglu’s protest was the 25-year prison sentence of CHP journalist and parliamentarian Enis Berberoglu, who was accused of spying and providing information to the newspaper Cumhuriyet, which cast the government in a bad light. The march ended in Istanbul with a grand rally in front of a huge crowd.

In the event of victory, he has promised, repeating it like a mantra in the various appointments that have accompanied his election campaign, that he will govern Turkey more democratically than Erdogan. One of the highlights of his election campaign was certainly when he broke a taboo and admitted that he was an Alevi. This minority, which follows rites and rules other than traditional Islam, has been the victim of discrimination and massacres in Turkey. Some Sunni extremists still regard Alevis as heretics and even refuse to eat any dish they prepare, deeming it “unclean”. If elected, Kilicdaroglu has pledged to put an end to discrimination and “sectarian strife that has caused suffering.”

On foreign policy, his goal is to shift Ankara’s focus by prioritizing relations with the West over relations with the Kremlin. “We want to be part of the civilized world,” he explained. “We want free media and a fully independent judiciary. Erdogan doesn’t think so. He wants to be authoritarian. The difference between us and Erdogan is like black and white.” .

His campaign will be remembered for the commercials that were filmed at his kitchen table with tea towels hung neatly in the background. In one of these videos, he appeared holding an onion and warned that prices would continue to rise if Erdogan stayed in power.


An anti-immigrant ultranationalist with Kemalist sympathies. Sinan Ogan, 54, was the surprise of the first round of Turkey’s presidential election, which was marked by conflict between the incumbent president and the opposition leader.

Neither managed to break the fateful 50% threshold, and according to all observers, the 5.17% achieved by Ogan with his ATA coalition, named after the republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, will be decisive for voting.

In a move the government newspaper Sabah called “surprising” but not particularly surprising to the observer, Ogan announced earlier this week that he supports Erdogan. Within the Zafer party (Victory Party), for which he was a candidate in the first ballot, a sort of “feud” ensued with the ultra-nationalist and party leader Unit Ozdag, who instead expressed his support for Kilicdaroglu.

A former member of the MHP, the nationalist party allied to Erdogan’s AKP, Ogan holds a degree in business administration from Marmara University and a PhD from Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

In 2011 he was elected MP in Igdir, his hometown in eastern Anatolia, which has a large Azerbaijani population. He himself has Azerbaijani roots. His departure from the MHP dates back to 2017, on the occasion of the controversial constitutional referendum in which Erdogan transformed the country’s political architecture from a parliamentary to a presidential system. Ogan opposed the MHP’s decision to support the reform.

Ogan, with a haughty demeanor and consistently impeccable demeanor, said he was “very comfortable” in the role of kingmaker and used his usual harsh tone to clarify his terms ahead of the vote: “What I want is clear, it is the departure of the Syrians. All refugees must return home.