On Sunday, May 14, Turkey held parliamentary and presidential elections, with voters going to the polls to elect the country’s next president and the members of its 600-seat parliament. According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his People’s Alliance is “well ahead” in the race, though final results have yet to be announced.
Speaking from the balcony of his Justice and Development (AK) Party’s headquarters in the capital Ankara, Erdogan said that he had around 2.6 million more votes than his closest competitor, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and joint candidate for the six-party opposition Nation Alliance. Erdogan expressed confidence that the lead would widen, adding that he expected to finish this round with over 50% of the votes.
Erdogan emphasized the high turnout in the elections, calling it “one of the highest in our history.” He expressed gratitude to voters for their participation and urged his supporters to be “vigilant” until the tally process was over. Erdogan stressed that he respected the popular will and expected the “same democratic maturity” from everyone.
The presidential ballot offered voters a choice between Erdogan, Kilicdaroglu, and Sinan Ogan of the ATA (Ancestral) Alliance. Another presidential contender, Muharrem Ince, withdrew from the race on Thursday. The final results of the election are yet to be announced, and Erdogan called on his supporters to remain patient and await the official results.