Facts: The election in Turkey
On May 14, 2023, Turkey will hold presidential and parliamentary elections. Roughly 60 million Turks are eligible to vote.
Previously, the date was set for June 18, but with reference to the school year, the election was brought forward. Thus, the election is held on the same date that Turkey held its first free election in 1950.
If no presidential candidate secures more than 50 percent of the vote on May 14, a second round will be held on May 28.
In the parliamentary elections, voters from 87 constituencies will elect 600 members for a five-year term in the Turkish parliament.
There are two weeks left until what is being called a fateful election for Turkey, and the wind is cold in Ankara. Not in two decades has Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced an election with such an uncertain outcome.
Besides, it’s raining.
Not that it is noticeable when the 69-year-old president and his wife Emine Erdogan take the stage in central Ankara.
A wall of cheers greets them, from tens of thousands of supporters, almost all waving flags – the Turkish or one of the president’s party APK’s white blue and orange.
— So, are you ready to join our great victory, Erdogan asks the sea of people, confident in the role of a father of the country that he himself has put on, closest in class to the great Kemal Atatürk, whose portrait hangs huge on the side of the stage and the mausoleum is a stone’s throw away.
Audience members of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech in Ankara on Sunday.
The high inflation, the criticism after the earthquake in February, the refugee crisis – it’s all blown away when the president nods approvingly to DJ Pedro’s bombastic and immensely popular tribute song, aptly named “Recep Tayyip Erdogan”.
No matter how strong he wants to appear, he can’t round off the week’s big topic of conversation. Few Turks missed that the president threw up on television last week and has since canceled almost all appearances.
— As you know, I was ill, and from every home the prayers for me were heard. I will try to prove myself worthy of all your prayers, he says.
And the audience gives him even more support.
— It just shows that he is human. You can’t jump on someone for an upset stomach, it’s just a way to avoid getting criticized yourself, says teacher Mine, and is agreed by her colleague Esra.
— They just want to paint him as weak, he’s too big a threat.
Teachers Mine and Esra at the AKP’s election meeting in the park Baskent Millet Bahçesi in Ankara, in front of tens of thousands of listeners. The two are fighting for more teachers according to decision EK55. The NATO position is a strength
They have no opinion about Erdogan standing in the way of Swedish membership in NATO, says Esra, uttering the same words that many in the audience say in almost all questions.
— If Erdogan thinks so, we trust that it is right. He’s doing the right thing.
23-year-old Aysun, a little further forward in the crowd, has nothing against Sweden, but Erdogan’s position is a statement of strength.
— I know you have a good country, but he is tough on Europe and I think that is good. And only Erdogan can do that, only he shows that he wants it, says the nursing student.
23-year-old Aysun has moved home to Turkey from Germany because of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s policies. “There is no one else”
The opinion polls give the president a slight lead over the opposition, but the margins are small and from the stage, Erdogan paints a dark picture of the major challenger CHP and its leader, presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
— Mr. Kemal has turned the CHP into a home for anyone who wants to insult our republic. Under his leadership, LGBTQ advocates, globalists and those who want to see a secular Turkey rule, Erdogan warns.
These are warnings 23-year-old Aysun does not take lightly. Because of Erdogan’s policies, she has moved back from Nuremberg in Germany, where her parents emigrated when she was a child.
— They had no choice. At that time, women were not allowed to wear veils in universities. Now he has changed that and given us back the freedom and the strength. If Kilicdaroglu wins, he changes everything back.
Just a few meters away – on the other side of the large picket fence that keeps the men on the right and the women on the left – Deniz agrees.
— Erdogan is the only one who can take us forward, he has ruled for 20 years and must do so for another 20 years. For the children, their future depends on it, he says, pointing to his two sons.
— We cannot think of anyone else, because there is no one else.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with wife Emine Erdogan after the election speech in the park Baskent Millet Bahçesi in Ankara. Warmth comes with victory
After just over an hour, President Erdogan has come to the point. The power has run out and the leader who started in just a jacket has put on a thick outer coat.
But the little rain has stopped falling, and the heat is coming. In two weeks, says an elderly man hurrying past with an AKP flag in hand.
— When Erdogan wins, it gets hot. Then we can go out in just the shirt.
Women listen to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a rally in Başkent Millet Bahçesi Park in Ankara ahead of the Turkish presidential election.