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CHP Offers Hope For Democracy, Erdogan Falls Below 50%

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, CHP, and the united opposition represent a beacon of hope for democracy, human rights, freedom, cooperation
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Unofficial results show President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raised 49.42%, while the percentage of ballot boxes opened was 99.38%, based on AJLabs election chart. Compared with the previous election in 2018, Erdogran voters fell below 50%.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledges supporters at AK Party headquarters on May 15, 2023 in Ankara, Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced his biggest electoral test as the country voted in the general election. Erdogan has been in power for more than two decades — first as prime minister, then as president — but his popularity had recently taken a hit due to Turkey’s ongoing economic crisis and his government’s response to a series of devastating earthquakes. Meanwhile, the political opposition united around one candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu. (BURAK KARA/GETTY IMAGES)

In this election, Erdogan from the AK Party was almost overtaken by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu from the Republican People’s Party (CHP). The CHP has experienced an increase in voter turnout compared with the previous election in 2018. CHP nominates Kılıçdaroğlu and gains voters up to 44.95%.

In a press release titled “Kader Sevinç, EU Envoy of the Turkish President Frontrunner, Main Opposition Leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu: ‘We’re confident about the future of a democratic Turkiye in Europe’ “. Kader Sevinç, Head of the Rebuplican People’s Party (CHP) Representation to the EU and a Presidency Member of the Party of European Socialists (PES), asserts that the Nation Alliance coalition, under the leadership of presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, is prepared to “transform Turkiye into a true European democracy.”

Nation Alliance Presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu made a statement on May 15, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey votes for its 13th President, who will serve for five years, and 28th Term of Parliament. (UGUR YILDIRIM/GETTY IMAGES)

The PES, as the second-largest political family represented in the EU, expressed its support in a separate press release to Kılıçdaroğlu. “Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, CHP, and the united opposition represent a beacon of hope for democracy, human rights, freedom, cooperation, and bringing Turkiye closer to Europe. We support all steps that can bring the country closer to the fundamental values that we share,” PES Executive Secretary General Giacomo Filibeck said.

Sevinç emphasizes the coalition’s intention to prioritize democratization and the rule of law, strengthen ties with EU institutions and member states, swiftly complete the EU visa liberalization process for Turkish citizens, revitalize EU membership negotiations, and implement the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. She also highlights Turkiye’s desire to become a more credible NATO member, thereby contributing to the security and stability of Europe in the midst of geopolitical and economic instability.

The Nation Alliance coalition and its largest member, CHP, are committed to meeting the EU’s 72 visa liberalization criteria, with frontrunner and joint presidential candidate Kılıçdaroğlu vowing to fulfill the remaining five benchmarks within the first three months of the government. These include adopting measures to prevent corruption, aligning legislation on personal data and anti-terror law with EU standards, concluding an operational cooperation agreement with Europol, and offering effective judicial cooperation in criminal matters to all EU member states.

“It is in this spirit that we are pleased to count on the CHP and on Kılıçdaroğlu’s leadership to continue progressing towards the achievement of the remaining and very critical criteria for the visa liberalization. For us European social democrats and progressives, Turkiye is a crucial partner. We support all steps that can bring the country closer to the fundamental values that we share,” Filibeck said.

Edited by Joseph Hammond and Virginia Van Zandt

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