Turkey elections live: Results flood in

May 14, 2023

Anka puts Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu neck and neck

Anka, an opposition-leaning news agency, is doing its own data. It paints quite a different picture to Anadolu with 36.7 percent counted:

• Kilicdaroglu: 47.2 percent
• Erdogan: 47 percent
• Ogan: 5.3 percent

Anadolu, meanwhile, says 41 percent of the vote has been counted. Here’s where we are:

• Erdogan 52.55 percent
• Kilicdaroglu: 41.55 percent
• Ogan: 5.36 percent

HalkTV is broadcasting leaked opposition data with 36.8 percent counted. That puts Kilicdaroglu on 47.6 percent and Erdogan on 46.5 percent. The vote difference between the two is 198,000 votes.

Remember, if no one gets over 50 percent we go to a runoff in two weeks’ time.

Kilicdaroglu: We’re leading

Though Anadolu puts Erdogan ahead at this stage, the opposition claims it’s actually ahead.Kilicdaroglu has tweeted just one word: Ondeyiz (we’re leading).

Imamoglu accuses Anadolu of misrepresenting results


The Turkish opposition seems unhappy with the way Anadolu is tracking the results.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu went live on TV to rail against the state news agency, accusing it of manipulating the vote count.

Imamoglu said Anadolu Agency was in “vegetative state” and was releasing its data in a deliberate way that puts Erdogan in the lead with wide margin, dropping over time.

Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas said Kilicdaroglu is currently leading in the CHP’s own data. Imamoglu said Anadolu is deceiving the public with its data and he believes Kilicdaroglu will be the president tonight.

The Istanbul mayor has history with Anadolu, of course, with the agency failing to update the vote count beyond the 98.7 percent mark for more than 12 hours in the 2019 mayoral election when it appeared the CHP candidate was on course to win.

Erdogan’s vote drops to 53 percent with a third counted

Now 32 percent of the vote has been counted and Anadolu is putting it like this:

• Erdogan: 53.37 percent
• Kilicdaroglu: 40.68 percent
• Ogan: 5.39 percent

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Erdogan continues to drop.

Ogan springs a surprise

The surprise of the elections is Sinan Ogan, the candidate of ultra-nationalist Ancestor Alliance. He is clinging to five percent of the vote.

An academic specialising in business and international relations, he was formerly associated with Erdogan’s allied Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). It is difficult to tell at this stage whether he attracted GenZ Turkish nationalist voters or Turkish nationalists who don’t want to vote for Kilicdaroglu, as was his aim.

Ogan’s appearance on a YouTube show last month increased his support among first-time voters. His main platform is criticising both the opposition and the government on the presence of 3.7 million Syrian refugees. He is also an ardent critic of Kilicdaroglu for making an indirect alliance with the pro-Kurdish HDP, which is supporting him from outside the Table of Six opposition alliance.

The fourth candidate on the ballot, Muharrem Ince, pulled out of the race late last week citing an online smear campaign. It was too late to take his name off the ballots, which had already been printed, and some people seem to be voting for him nonetheless. So far Ince’s on about 0.56 percent.

Large cities key battlegrounds

Insight from Ragip Soylu, MEE’s Turkey bureau chief:

The election will be fiercely fought in large cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya, where most of the population lives. Erdogan has been considerably less popular in large cities since the 2019 elections. This is why the balance may change in coming hours and Kilicdaroglu’s vote share will grow.

In Kurdish majority areas, for example, initial results suggest Kilicdaroglu had a really strong margin. He got 66.3 percent of the votes in Diyarbakir, 56 percent in Van, 55 percent in Mardin and 72 percent in Hakkari.

Kilicdaroglu’s share grows with 20 percent counted

More results! With 21.3 percent of the votes counted, we have:

• Erdogan: 55.0 percent
• Kilicdaroglu: 39 percent
• Ogan: 5.4 percent

As you can see, the gap between Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu is narrowing a bit as more votes are counted. Ogan’s vote has risen slightly.

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Kilicdaroglu got the majority of the votes in the polling station where he cast his vote in Ankara. He also got the lead at his competitor Sinan Ogan’s place of voting too.

Turkey elections results tracker hopes to avoid 2019 fiasco

In 2019, Anadolu Agency failed to update election data beyond the 98.7 percent mark for more than 12 hours when it appeared the CHP candidate was on course to win the Istanbul mayoral election.

People accused the state news agency of favouring the AKP.

Officials at the agency told Middle East Eye that they are aiming to deliver up-to-the-minute results to the media after facing a deluge of criticism four years ago.

“We don’t want to be a subject of the election debate, especially on the day of the vote,” Yusuf Ozhan, the editor-in-chief at Anadolu, told MEE.

Founded more than 100 years ago, Anadolu is considered the main source of information on election results, with local TV channels, newspapers and popular news sites relying on the agency for the latest updates.

“Our total manpower is 2,500, that includes journalists, freelancers and administrative staff, who can cover 50,000 ballot boxes,” Ozhan said.

“But we will have at least a journalist in all and every 765 provincial districts where the records would be merged from the smaller districts.”

Read more here: Turkey elections results tracker hopes to avoid 2019 fiasco

Erdogan ahead with less than 10 percent counted

Initial results are in, with 9.1 percent of the votes counted.

• Erdogan: 59.5 percent
• Kilicdaroglu: 34.8 percent
• Ogan: 5.1 percent

Ogan is performing surprisingly well, per Anadolu Agency data. Kilicdaroglu is expected to be far behind at first but will catch up as the night goes on.

Inside the campaign to give Erdogan one final victory

It’s expected to be an incredibly tight race. But don’t forget that not so long ago, Erdogan and the AKP were much further behind in the polls.

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On Friday, MEE’s Turkey bureau chief Ragip Soylu took a look at the feeling within the Erdogan campaign, and what tactics they’ve used to get parity with the opposition and perhaps even inch ahead.

Here’s an excerpt:

When the Turkish president’s people looked at the polling in June last year and saw that their ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had dropped below the 30 percent mark, they became worried.

Annual inflation was surging, the Turkish lira was depreciating and people were unhappy. Many interviewed by Middle East Eye back then didn’t know how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could make a comeback in time for Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

But Erdogan and his lieutenants developed a plan: they boosted wages for the public and private sector, flooded the market with cheap credit for home buyers, launched an amnesty on unpaid taxes, and began a major public sector recruitment drive.

And to stabilise the lira, they funded the central bank’s backdoor methods by taking money from RussiaSaudi ArabiaQatar, the UAE and Azerbaijan.

Populism worked. The AKP’s ratings rose month by month, jumping by six points between June and January.

Read more here:Inside the campaign to give Erdogan one final victory

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