Opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who is competing against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a historic run-off of Türkiye’s presidential elections, spoke to his supporters as vote counting continues.
Kılıçdaroğlu didn’t directly admit defeat in the elections, but his statements seemed to indicate his loss.
“I am sad that bigger problems await our country,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, at a time when the counting results indicate an increase in support for Erdoğan.
He thanked the more than 25 million people who voted for him and called on them to keep their spirits high.
He thanked his supporters for supporting “our democracy” and “for fighting for our state”.
He criticized the problems of the electoral campaign, which observers described as unfair, in light of the government’s control over the media.
Kılıçdaroğlu thanked the “Alliance of Democracy”, a coalition of parties that came together with the aim of defeating Erdoğan, who has ruled the country for a long time.
“The people’s desire to replace an authoritarian regime has been shown despite all the oppression in these elections,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“Our march will continue. Have confidence. We’ll work for a more democratic Türkiye,” he added.
He stressed that “the recent elections were the most unfair elections in years, and that the other candidate benefited from all the capabilities of the state”.