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Erdogan wins Turkish presidential election again

The president got over 52% of the vote and will lead the county five more years. Christians and other minorities still face restrictions in their freedoms.

AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus ISTANBUL 29 DE MAYO DE 2023 18:55 h
Erdogan at a rally in Kahramanmaras/ [link] Orhan Erkılıc [/link], Wikimedia Commons.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won Turkey’s presidential election in this Sunday’s runoff vote, defeating opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

Erdogan extends his 20 years in power for another five years with over 52% of the vote, according to official results from Turkey's Supreme Electoral Council.

He entered the second round in the lead, after a first round on 14 May where he received 49.5% of the overall vote compared with Kılıçdaroğlu’s 44.5%. His party AKP along with their nationalist coalition partners won a majority in parliament.

International observers of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) have said the election was "free but not fair".

Erdogan and opposition reactions

Right after his victory, Erdogan appeared outside his residence in Istanbul and thanked “each member of our nation for entrusting me with the responsibility to govern this country once again. We hope to be worthy of your trust, as we have been for 21 years”.

He then addressed thousands of his supporters outside the presidential complex in Ankara, stressing that “the only winner today is Turkey […] put aside all the debates and conflicts regarding the election period and unite around our national goals and dreams”.

Erdogan said his first priorities would be to fight the soaring inflation in the country and help victims from the earthquake that last February severely hit cities like the historic Antakya, killing over 50,000 people and leaving “tens of thousands are still homeless”. He was much criticised for the way his government dealt with that tragedy.

According to opposition candidate Kilicdaroglu, “this was the most unfair election period in our history… We did not bow down to the climate of fear. What truly makes me sad is the hard days ahead for our country”.

“In this election, the will of the people to change an authoritarian government became clear despite all the pressures” he said at his party headquarters in Ankara, adding that he would continue to fight until there is “real democracy” in Turkey.


Christians and other minorities in Turkey

Religious minorities in Turkey often have to face restrictions of their religious freedom and freedom of worship.

Protestants denounced that at least 60 pastors and Christian workers have been blacklisted and expelled from the country without explanation, as well as problems with their places of worship, bans on foreign Christian workers and increased hate speech on social media.

On an international level, Erdogan has tried to negotiate between Russia and Ukraine, and has support the new alliances in Western Asia.

The way his government has treated asylum seekers, especially after the Syrian war and the flight of millions of people through Turkey to Europe, has also been criticised.




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