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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Runoff in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu appear headed to a runoff in the country's presidential race after neither secured a majority of votes in yesterday's election. Current results have Erdoğan with 49.5% of the vote and Kılıçdaroğlu with 44.8%.

Erdoğan is one of the most powerful figures in the history of modern Turkey, having served as prime minister beginning in 2003 until assuming the presidency in 2014. The country's strategic location—controlling the Bosphorus Strait in the west and bordering Syria, Iraq, and Iran to the south and east—has often made him a key player on the international stage. Erdoğan has also been frequently criticized for moving Turkey toward an autocracy.

Erdoğan faced stiff headwinds during his reelection campaign. Opposition parties united behind a single candidate, a long-running economic crisis that saw inflation peak above 80% in the fall, and a pair of recent earthquakes that left 50,000 people dead—a death toll many blamed on government corruption.

If results are confirmed, the runoff will be held May 28.

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