2023 Turkish Presidential Election


Currently, Turkey (Türkiye) is having a presidential election, which will determine the direction the government will take in the immediate future.

For those who may not know, Turkey is mainly a peninsula that sits on the Mediterranean Sea, near Greece, but is connected to Asia.

There are two major presidential candidates in this election: Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is the candidate for the Republican People’s Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi) or CHP.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s central values include a more democratic Turkey, closer ties with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance between many European countries, the US, and Canada, and more economic reforms.

If Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stays in power, critics say the economy of Turkey will suffer from stress and rapid inflation growth.

If Erdoğan gets voted out of office, it would be the end of an almost 20-year-long presidency.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a member of the Justice and Development Party or AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi). His values include more checks and balances and a more conservative religiously valued democracy.

The first round of Turkish elections started on May 18, 2023, with a high voter turnout of 88.9%. Erdoğan secured 49.5% of the vote (just short of the required 50% to win the election), Kılıçdaroğlu took 44.89%, and Sinan Oğan earned 5.17%.

Since Erdoğan did not secure the minimum of 50% required to win the Turkish election, Kılıçdaroğlu and Erdoğan moved into a runoff election, without Oğan. Even though Oğan won only 5.17% of the vote, the top candidates had hoped to secure his key endorsement, in order to secure victory at the required 50%.

As of May 28, 2023, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won the second round in the Turkish election with 52.14% with the second-place candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu finished in second place with 47.86% of the votes.

As a result,  Erdoğan will remain in power until 2028, adding to his 20-year leadership in Turkey.

In terms of the issues he will immediately face, the major ones include the nation’s high inflation and its continued recovery from the damage caused by a large earthquake in southeastern Turkey this past February.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with the key endorsement of Sinan Oğan, won the 2023 Turkish presidential election, and will continue to rule Turkey until 2028.