Turkish leaders react to presidential runoff after casting vote
The Turkish Supreme Electoral Commission says it will hold a meeting after the polls close and will set a date for lifting the broadcasting ban on the results of the presidential runoff.
The head of the Turkish Supreme Electoral Commission, Ahmed Yanar, said on Saturday that the commission is considering lifting the broadcasting ban on the results of the second round of the Turkish presidential election earlier after the polls are closed.
Yanar indicated that the Commission will hold a meeting after the polls close and will set a date for lifting the ban.
The official confirmed that the electoral process is proceeding without problems, adding that Turkey's first-ever presidential runoff is witnessing a high turnout.
Turkish presidential candidates Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kemal Kilicdaroglu cast their votes simultaneously in Istanbul and Ankara respectively.
After casting his vote in Istanbul, Erdogan said he believed the voting process will end quickly and smoothly, calling on Turkish citizens to cast their votes in the presidential runoff and show no complacency.
The incumbent President said the turnout exceeded 90% in the first round, which is an important indicator of Turkey's democracy.
On his part, Kilicdaroglu said that "democracy shall prevail after these elections."
"In order to get rid of this authoritarian regime... I invite all my citizens to cast their ballot," Kilicdaroglu said after casting his vote in Ankara.
In the same context, Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu stated after casting his vote in one of the country's polling stations that "we have to engage in dialogue with each other and not be in a state of conflict."
Imamoglu expressed confidence that the opposition's presidential candidate "Kemal Kilicdaroglu will be our president tonight."
Al Mayadeen envoy mentioned that more than 600,000 security personnel are assigned to secure the electoral process.
Turkish voters are heading to polling stations to exercise their right in voting in the country's presidential runoff between incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from the ruling People's Alliance, and his rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the candidate for the opposition Nation Alliance.
Turks returned to the polls on Sunday to decide whether President Recep Tayyip #Erdogan will extend his rule or will be unseated by his opponent Kemal #Kilicdaroglu who promised to "restore a more democratic society" in #Turkey. #TurkeyElections pic.twitter.com/0SiF3uaW2P— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) May 28, 2023
Polls opened at 8 am local time, and the process ends at 5 pm local time, while results are expected to be announced a few hours after polls close.
Polling stations outside Turkey on Wednesday closed after Turkish expatriates took part in the presidential runoff, while the process is underway at the border points until the afternoon.
On May 14, no presidential candidate ensured 50%+1 of the vote in the first round of the elections.
Turkey started on Saturday its electoral silence as campaigns for all parties were concluded.
More than 191,000 ballot boxes are set up in 973 districts and 1,094 electoral boards across the country.
Turks headed to poll stations to cast their vote for the presidential run-off.— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) May 28, 2023
More than 64 million Turks are allowed to cast ballots at nearly 192,000 polling stations, including more than 6 million who were first-time voters on May 14.
Polls are due to close at 5 pm (14:00… pic.twitter.com/YcdvDT1NKL
In their electoral campaigns, political parties focused on attracting three main groups.
First, young people, especially those who are voting for the first time in this year's elections.
Secondly, those who abstained from voting in the first round, and their percentage is approximately 11% of those eligible to vote, and their number is about 10 million voters.
The third category is hardline nationalists who have become an influential element in the electoral equation.
Over all other files such as economy and foreign policy, the refugee crisis dominated the electoral campaigns.
The first round witnessed a turnout of about 89%, and observers expect the run-off's turnout to be as high.
Last week, former presidential candidate Sinan Ogan announced that he would support Erdogan in the presidential runoff, whereas Turkey's Green Left Party YSP renewed its support for Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
Ogan, who won 5.2% of the votes in the first round, asked his voters to support Erdogan in the second round.