Turkey will have to wait for a presidential runoff on May 28 to find out who will govern the country for the next five years: incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Justice and Development Party, AKP, Islamo-Conservative), who has been in power since 2014, or his direct opponent, democrat Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (Republican People’s Party, CHP, center-left), who heads a ragtag coalition.
Although he approached the vote weakened by the economic crisis, human rights violations and the recent earthquake that killed some 50,000 people earlier this year, Erdoğan came out on top in the first round on May 14 with 49.5 percent of the vote. Despite polls showing him in the lead, Kılıçdaroğlu only obtained 44.9 percent of the vote.
In the parliamentary elections held on the same day, the AKP-led coalition won 49.5 percent of the vote – 267 out of 600 seats – compared with 35 percent for the Kemalist opposition and 10.5 percent for Kurdish parties. Erdoğan appears to have maintained his position as Turkey’s strongman and, even if the election has yet to reach its conclusion, any hopes for regime change now seem increasingly unrealistic.
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