Recap the Turkish election numbers

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The first round of the Turkish elections didn’t give the answer for the big question of who will take the position of the presidency, and it will be decided for the first time in the country’s history at the second round that will take place on May 28.

Türkiye’s Supreme Elections Committee announced May 28 for a run-off between the most prominent candidates, current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his main rival, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

The first round of the Turkish elections bore many surprises related to voting trends, especially in the states that were affected by the devastating earthquake last February, and the Kurdish-majority states in addition to the major cities, which were in many periods’ supporters of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development party (AKP).

The Turkish president won the majority of votes in 51 states out of 81, but that didn’t guarantee him obtaining the required percentage of 50% + 1 of the vote, due to the difference in population density between the states, while Kılıçdaroğlu won majority votes in 30 other states, the most prominent of which were the capital, Ankara and Istanbul, Izmir.

The paradox of voting trends in these two regions is that although they didn’t vote for Erdoğan in the presidential elections, they voted for his coalition in parliament.

According to the non-final results of the presidential race, Erdoğan advanced, followed by Kılıçdaroğlu in second place, and thirdly Oğan with 5.17%, then the withdrawn candidate Muharram İnce with 0.44%.

It’s expected that the second round of the elections will witness a fierce struggle, and despite the presence of a 5% difference between Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu, the indecisiveness of the first round of the elections makes it necessary to read the results of the first round, especially in the large voting blocs in the country, which had a great impact in voting directions.

On February 6, a devastating earthquake hit regions in Syria and 11 Turkish states, and resulted in many of their residents leaving their cities and either fleeing to other provinces or taking refuge in shelter camps.

Although these states are mainly from the areas that support the ruling Justice and Development Party and its ally, the National Movement Party, and voted in the 2018 elections in favor of it by 65%, and most of the mayors are from the ruling party, the opposition was seeking to overturn this result and obtain the votes of the voters there.

They relied on what they claimed was government inaction in dealing with the repercussions of the disaster.

However, the majority of the residents of these states did not change their position due to the disaster of the earthquake, and Erdoğan and his alliance achieved a great victory in all the cities affected by the earthquake, with the exception of Hatay, especially since the participation rate in the earthquake area amounted to about 80%.

According to the announced results of the vote, Erdoğan won 66% of the vote in Adiyaman, while his rival won about 31%.

The Public Alliance won four parliamentary seats from the same city, while the Republican People’s Party won only one seat.

Likewise, Erdoğan obtained about 71% of the votes in Kahramanmaraş, at a time when the competition didn’t exceed 22%.

In this city, the People’s Alliance got more than 70%, while the Nation’s Alliance got only about 23%.

The only exception was in Hatay, where Kılıçdaroğlu didn’t achieve a significant victory, as he received 48.07% of the vote, while Erdogan got 48.03%.

The People’s Alliance also succeeded in achieving victory by obtaining 48% of the votes, while the Nation Alliance obtained 36%.

Thus, the opposition has been disappointed in the larger issues that it played on during the electoral campaign, which was seeking to direct the voters to vote against Erdoğan and his alliance, under the pretext of not dealing professionally with the earthquake disaster.

The Kurdish population in Türkiye is about 16 million, representing about 20% of the country’s population and 10% of the electoral bloc.

In the 2014 and 2018 elections, Erdoğan won 40% of the votes of the Kurdish majority states.

The Kurdish vote is concentrated in the Kurdish-majority states in the south and east of the country, such as Diyarbakir, Van, Mardin, Batman, and Şırnak, in addition to the presence of millions of Kurdish votes in major Turkish cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir.

There were expectations that the Kurds would play a role in overthrowing Erdoğan in the elections and improving Kılıçdaroğlu’s chances, but this didn’t happen in the first round, and observers attribute the reason for this to the traditional division between the Kurds between the People’s Party and the ruling Justice and Development Party.

At the end of last April, the People’s Democratic Party, which supports Kurdish issues, announced its support for the Alevi-Kurdish opposition leader.

However, I’s believed that the participation rate in the first round in the Kurdish-majority states was about 80%, which is much lower than the general participation rate, which reached about 89%.

However, garnering greater support from Kurdish voters could be against Kılıçdaroğlu, as Erdoğan has succeeded in linking the opposition to the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged an armed insurgency against the Türkiye for decades.

As for the Parliament, and according to the announcement from the Turkish Elections Commission, the three main party coalitions: “The Public”, “The Nation” and “Labor and Freedom” have taken control of the parliament.

Although the Public Alliance won the majority in parliament with 322 seats, the Justice and Development Party was the biggest loser, as it recorded its largest decline since reaching its peak in 2015, when it was close to winning by 50%, and in the last elections it got only 35.58% of the votes, the Justice and Development Party won 267 seats, and lost 28 parliamentary deputies, compared to 169 for the Republican People’s Party.

Likewise, the “Green Left” party won 61 seats, compared to 50 seats for the “Nationalist Movement” party, and 44 for the “Good” party. The “New Welfare” party was able to enter parliament with 5 seats, as well as the “Turkish Workers’ Party” with 4 seats.

Observers consider that Erdoğan’s coalition winning the majority in parliament will have a major impact on the elections next May 28, and will often be in favor of Erdoğan, so that there is consistency and harmony between the presidency and parliament.

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