Türkiye’s bitter election battle nears judgment day
ISTANBUL: Turkey entered the final stages of a bitter presidential campaign on Friday in which Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his secular rival have exploited fears about migrants and Kurdish militants.
Erdogan appears on course to extend his two decades of Islamic rule until 2028 in Sunday’s runoff.
His victory would shelve the premier NATO member’s reputation as a problem child who plays off the rivalry between Moscow and Washington while charting its own course in the Middle East.
Secular opposition leader Kemal Kilikdaroglu presented a clear alternative to Erdogan in the first round on 14 May.
The former civil servant ran an inclusive campaign pledging to improve ties with Western allies and fix Turkey’s economic problems with conservative prescriptions rejected by Erdogan.
Kilicdaroglu formed a six-party coalition that grouped together some of Turkey’s most irreconcilable forces and gained significant support from the Kurds.