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Fears for the future if Erdogan wins

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For the first time in 20 years, in this year’s elections, the opposition had a real hope of defeating incumbent Turkish President Erdogan.

But in the May 14 presidential election, the result was the exact opposite of what opinion polls had previously shown.

Candidates: The presidential election is being held between incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Photography: Soroush Sadat / TV2

Recep Tayyip Erdogan ended up receiving 49.52 percent of the vote, while his rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, received 44.9 percent.

– I was surprised. I didn’t think Erdogan would get so many votes. But at the same time, more than half of them did not vote for him, Erem Sela Semin tells TV2.

She had invited friends to join her on election night in hopes she could celebrate the country’s change of power, but as the results approached, the celebratory atmosphere diminished.

The first voter: Irem Sela Simin is on his way to casting the first vote of his life in the election.  Her vote went to opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu.  Photography: Soroush Sadat / TV2

The first voter: Irem Sela Simin is on his way to casting the first vote of his life in the election. Her vote went to opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Photography: Soroush Sadat / TV2

However, none of the candidates managed to get more than 50 percent of the vote, which was necessary to be able to declare victory. Thus, a new round of elections will be held on Sunday, May 28.

starving

After Erdogan took the country in an increasingly authoritarian direction, Kilicdaroglu went to the polls to restore democracy in Turkey.

It’s a message that resonates particularly well among Turkey’s five million first-time voters – like Sila.

– First-time voters are considered more modern and less religious than the average voter, and more than half of them say they are not satisfied with the life they lead, Erman Bekirci, a researcher at the Kunda Polling Institute, tells NTB.

Sila, who teaches English in Istanbul, says Turkey’s economic crisis is hitting young people hard.

We all think life is hard. She says sometimes we can’t even eat properly.

Difficulty: Student life in a country with high rates of inflation is tough, says Sela.  Photography: Soroush Sadat / TV2

Difficulty: Student life in a country with high rates of inflation is tough, says Sela. Photography: Soroush Sadat / TV2

But although the country’s skyrocketing prices mean it doesn’t always have enough to eat adequately, it is even more hungry for freedom and democracy.

– These elections have now become a referendum between an authoritarian government or a democracy, says Sela.

I was born in 2003, the same year Erdogan came to power. She thinks he is now working overtime.

Every day with Erdoğan in power is a threat to democracy. Nor can we know how he will use his power in the future, says Scylla.

On Sunday, it will be decided who will rule the country in the future.

This can decide

Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party and allied nationalist and Islamic parties retained their majority in the National Assembly after parliamentary elections, also held on May 14.

Analysts believe that this enhances the president’s chance of re-election because people do not want a divided government.

The strong man: Erdogan has a very solid and loyal voter base.  Many of his supporters believed that no one but him could rule the country.  Photo: Emrah Gurel/AP

The strong man: Erdogan has a very solid and loyal voter base. Many of his supporters believed that no one but him could rule the country. Photo: Emrah Gurel/AP

In addition, Erdogan had the support of the third candidate in the first round, Sinan Ogan. He received five percent of the vote, much of which is believed to have gone to Erdogan in the second round.

On the other hand, the opposition is trying to mobilize as much as it can.

They try to mobilize people to vote for them and for democratic values. It is clear that the climate has intensified, among other things, that Kilicdaroglu is much harsher against the Syrians in the country. The message is that they must be sent back to Syria. That’s been Kılıçdaroğlu’s message all along, but now he’s going harder — perhaps to try to woo far-right voters, PRIO’s chief researcher, Pinar Tank, tells NTB.

Eight million voters abstained from voting in the first round. Getting votes from the babysitters at home may be Kilicdaroglu’s only chance to turn the situation around.

“Turkish Gandhi”: Kemal Kilicdaroglu is the presidential candidate of a six-party coalition. He has been called the “Turkish Gandhi”. Photo: Murat Sezer/Reuters

Getting Erdogan’s voters to change their minds is an insurmountable task. Kilicdaroglu’s biggest problem in the first round was that he couldn’t muster eligible voters who didn’t want to go to polling stations, Professor Serhat Guvenc of Istanbul’s Kadir Has University tells The Associated Press.

Although there are many indications that Erdogan will emerge victorious from Sunday’s second round of voting, Sela has yet to give up hope.

– I hope that the Turkish people will choose democracy and vote for Kılıçdaroğlu, she says to TV 2.

Hope remains: The opposition has lost some momentum as Erdoğan won the most votes in the first round, but Sylla remains hopeful that she can win in the second round.  Photography: Soroush Sadat / TV2

Hope remains: The opposition has lost some momentum as Erdoğan won the most votes in the first round, but Sylla remains hopeful that she can win in the second round. Photography: Soroush Sadat / TV2

She has never lived in Turkey without Erdogan, and is unsure what life will be like with his rise in power.

– I think it’s getting worse day by day.

Several young voters spoke on TV 2 to say that either they themselves or people they know want to move abroad if there is no change in power. Sela says she has no idea what she will do if Erdogan wins.

– but no one wants to be in a place where they feel helpless and worthless.

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