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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Erdogan, Kilicdaroglu rally supporters earlier than Turkish election | Elections Information


Incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu have rallied their supporters on the ultimate day of campaigning earlier than Sunday’s decisive presidential election run-off.

The 2 candidates are aiming to draw some 8 million voters who didn’t go to the polls within the first spherical.

A primary spherical of voting on Might 14 confirmed Erdogan with a lead over the opposition’s Kemal Kilicdaroglu, and Erdogan’s AK Social gathering and its allies secured a parliamentary majority within the preliminary vote.

Erdogan paid homage to his conservative predecessor with a go to to Istanbul’s Adnan Menderes mausoleum on Saturday, to rally his conservative base.

Menderes was tried and hanged one 12 months after the army staged a coup in 1960 to place Turkey again on a extra secular course. Erdogan survived a putsch try in opposition to his personal Islamic-rooted authorities in 2016.

“The period of coups and juntas is over,” the 69-year-old declared after laying a wreath at his mentor’s tomb.

“I as soon as once more name on you to go to the poll containers. Tomorrow is a big day for us all.”

Tayyip Erdogan
Erdogan speaks throughout an election marketing campaign rally in Istanbul, Turkey [Khalil Hamra/AP Photo]

Erdogan informed his followers in January that he needed to proceed Menderes’s struggle for non secular rights and nationalist causes within the formally secular however overwhelmingly Muslim republic of 85 million folks.

Erdogan beat Kilicdaroglu by practically 5 share factors within the first spherical of voting.

However Erdogan’s failure to high the 50-percent threshold arrange Turkey’s first run-off on Sunday and underscored the gradual ebbing of his help. Erdogan, who has led the nation for 20 years, remains to be seen because the frontrunner. Latest opinion polls recommend an in depth race.

Al Jazeera’s Resul Serdar, reporting from Ankara, mentioned Erdogan’s message has not modified considerably from the primary spherical of the election.

“He was making a promise to make the subsequent century the century of Turkey. He informed voters that he would proceed the mega mission and improve the defence business within the nation. He was promising a extra highly effective and assertive Turkey within the worldwide enviornment,” he mentioned.

Kilicdaroglu, who’s heading up an opposition coalition of conservatives, secular events and nationalists, ended his marketing campaign with a speech on the “Household Assist Insurance coverage Assembly” within the capital, Ankara.

Kilicdaroglu has targeted on extra fast points as he tries to come back up from behind. In an try to win over nationalist voters, the opposition challenger has promised to expel Syrian refugees.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, presidential candidate of Turkey’s fundamental opposition alliance, speaks throughout an indoor marketing campaign occasion ‘Household Assist Insurance coverage Assembly’ in Ankara, Turkey [Cagla Gurdogan/Reuters]

“To draw the nationalist vote, Kilicdaroglu has targeted on anti-refugee sentiments within the nation and he was promising to ship tens of millions of Syrian, Afghan, and Pakistani refugees again to their international locations. For now, the opposition is attempting to enchantment to nationalists,” mentioned Al Jazeera’s Serdar.

On Friday, Kilicdaroglu used a late-night TV interview to accuse Erdogan’s authorities of unfairly blocking his mass textual content messages to voters.

“They’re afraid of us,” the 74-year-old former civil servant mentioned.

He repeated the identical declare on Saturday.

“I can’t ship a textual content message to reporters to announce our marketing campaign program. Telecommunication corporations are stopping me from sending textual content messages to journalists. I’m below a complete blackout. We will’t even maintain an election in Turkey. This man [Erdogan] is a coward, he’s a coward,” he mentioned.

Observers have mentioned Turkey’s votes are freed from meddling on election days – however unfair as a result of the chances are stacked in opposition to the opposition prematurely.

“These had been aggressive however nonetheless restricted elections,” the Group for Safety and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) election observer mission’s chief Michael Georg Hyperlink mentioned after the primary spherical.

“The criminalisation of some political forces … prevented full political pluralism and impeded people’ rights to run within the elections,” Hyperlink mentioned.

Erdogan’s consolidation of energy included a near-complete monopolisation of the media by the federal government and its enterprise allies.

Reporters With out Borders (RSF) estimated that Erdogan obtained 60 occasions as a lot airtime on the TRT Haber state broadcaster as Kilicdaroglu in April.

“They’ve taken over all of the establishments,” Kilicdaroglu mentioned in his tv interview.

Many points have turned voters for or in opposition to Erdogan: Whereas his first decade in energy was marked by sturdy financial progress and heat relations with Western powers, his second started with a corruption scandal and shortly descended right into a political crackdown and years of financial turmoil that erased most of the early features.

One other challenge that has taken centre-stage within the lead-up to the elections has been the state of the economic system, the rising alarm concerning the destiny of Turkey’s beleaguered lira and the steadiness of its banks.

Erdogan compelled the central financial institution to observe by on his unconventional principle that decrease rates of interest carry down inflation, however Turkey’s annual inflation charge touched 85 % final 12 months whereas the lira entered a quick freefall.

Economists really feel that Erdogan’s authorities might want to reverse course and sharply increase charges or cease supporting the lira if it desires to keep away from a full-fledged disaster after the vote.

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