Voting for presidential election ends, counting begins in Turkey
Two weeks after the first round, the presidential election in Turkey, around 61 million eligible voters were called to cast their ballots and thus decide who will govern the country for the next five years.
For the first time in Turkey's history, the result of a run-off election will decide who will be the next president. Around 61 million eligible voters were called to cast their ballots and thus decide who will govern the country for the next five years. The candidates are incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the AKP and challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the CHP.
In the first round of the presidential election a fortnight ago, voter turnout was historically high at around 87 percent. Erdoğan missed the required absolute majority of 50 per cent. According to the official count, he received 49.52 per cent, about 4.6 percentage points ahead of Kılıçdaroğlu. The opposition candidate received 44.88 per cent of the vote.
The third-placed far-right candidate, Sinan Oğan, won 5.17 per cent of the vote in the first round. Muharrem Ince, who had dropped out before the election, received 0.43 per cent. This meant that there would be a duel between Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu. According to preliminary data, Erdoğan's alliance of nationalists, Islamists and conservatives was able to maintain its majority in parliament.
Outside Turkey, the run-off election has already ended. Around 3.4 million Turkish voters live abroad and were able to cast their ballots in diplomatic institutions until Wednesday (24 May). By far the largest group lives in Germany, where 1.5 million people were called to vote in the run-off election. Initial results indicate a high turnout. According to official figures, 746,000 people took part in the run-off election in Germany. This was even more than in the first round of voting, in which around 725,000 people cast their votes.
In total, the proportion of votes cast from abroad has so far amounted to about two million votes. This puts the turnout at over 50 per cent. In the event of a close result, the votes from abroad could make a significant difference.
Polling stations in Turkey opened at 7.00 am (CET) and closed at 4.00 pm (CET). Results for the run-off are expected in the evening. Only then will it be known whether Erdoğan, who won with 52.6 per cent in 2018 and has been Turkey's president since 2014, will win the race again and rule for another five years - or whether Kılıçdaroğlu will succeed in changing the guard in the country's highest political office.