The Turkish election is over. Votes have been counted. Officially, the nation is headed to a run-off election to be held on May 28th, as stated by the Turkish Supreme Election Council (YSK). The final, YSK published results put Erdogan at 49.5%, and Kilicdaroglu at 44.89%. In third place was Sinan Ogan, with 5.17%. In the run-off election, only the top two candidates will be on the ballot, ensuring a winner.
While the candidates have two weeks for further campaigning, the place where they will need to focus their efforts, is Ogan himself. Ogan has been put in a very interesting position, where he did well enough in the first round of the election that whoever he endorses for the second round, is likely to take the victory. His 5.17% is enough to push either candidate over the 50% threshold, handing them the victory.
So naturally, the question to ask would be: Who will he endorse..? Unfortunately, that is not so easy to tell. Ogan is a right-wing politician, and while Erdogan is more conservative than Kilicdaroglu, and thus aligns with him more policy wise, Ogan is no fan of Erdogan and has a distinct interest in removing him from office. Ogan himself has yet to state who he will endorse, saying him and his team are in “internal deliberations” over the matter, but has reportedly stated he may sway towards whoever is willing to offer more concessions to policies he would like to see enacted. Should Turkey’s coming election be free and fair, it is very likely that his endorsement will crown the winner.
But how about the first round..? Was it fair..? The OSCE the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, had a team of observers in the election. The observers have reported that they believe the AKP (Erdogan’s Party) had an “unfair advantage”, and that the YSK showed a lack of transparency regarding election numbers. They say they noticed a distinct amount of positive coverage of Erdogan by Turkish state medias, providing them with a certain edge over their opponents when it came to campaigning.
The OSCE also offered condemnation for Turkey denying a Danish MP and a Swedish MP of credentials necessary to become an observer, calling it a “regrettable decision”.
The report further stated that Kurdish party YSP faced “widespread intimidation”, though they did not state by whom.
All in all Turkey has a very interesting time ahead, a time which has the chance to drastically change the future of Turkey. Should Erdogan be unseated, it will end his nearly 20 years of leadership, which opponents say has been marred by authoritarianism.