Turkey's Puzzling Polls: Erdogan's Victory Amid Urban Setbacks

In the recently concluded Turkish elections, Recep Tayyip Erdogan emerged victorious, securing his presidency for another five years.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Turkey's Puzzling Polls: Erdogan's Victory Amid Urban Setbacks

In the recently concluded Turkish elections, Recep Tayyip Erdogan emerged victorious, securing his presidency for another five years. Erdogan won more than 52 percent of the votes, surpassing opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who garnered close to 48 percent.

However, a detailed look into the election data reveals a surprising trend. Despite his nationwide win, Erdogan suffered defeats in four of the five largest Turkish cities.

A Tale of Five Cities

Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Adana tipped in favor of Kilicdaroglu, with Erdogan only managing to win in Bursa.

The opposition's victory in these populous cities indicates a unique political landscape that could hold significant implications for the future of Turkish politics. In Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, Kilicdaroglu received 51.78 percent of the vote against Erdogan's 48.22 percent.

The capital, Ankara, also favored Kilicdaroglu, with 51.23 percent of votes, while Erdogan secured 48.77 percent. Izmir and Adana, following a similar trend, saw Kilicdaroglu winning with 67.13 and 54.04 percent, respectively.

The lone city where Erdogan celebrated victory was Bursa, where he amassed 54.66 percent of the vote.

Mixed Reactions and a Divided Map

Following the election results, Erdogan thanked his supporters, vowing to repay their trust with dedicated service.

In a statement dripping with both triumph and defiance, he mocked his opponent, Kilicdaroglu, and declared, “The only winner today is Turkey”. He assured that he would continue to work diligently as Turkey enters its second century.

On the other hand, Kilicdaroglu denounced the election as “the most unjust ever,” accusing Erdogan of exploiting state resources. Despite his criticism, Kilicdaroglu affirmed his commitment to the struggle for "real democracy" and expressed gratitude towards the more than 25 million people who cast their vote in his favor.

When examining the electoral map, one notes a stark divide in the country's political leanings. Erdogan maintained a stronghold in central Anatolia, while Kilicdaroglu's support was concentrated in the coastal areas and regions with significant Kurdish populations.

This near-identical distribution to the first round of elections reveals a deep-seated polarization in Turkish politics that extends beyond mere election statistics.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
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