Sinan Oğan, who contested the presidential election as the ATA Alliance’s candidate, endorsed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ahead of Sunday’s second round. Rejecting allegations of a “deal” between himself and the incumbent, he insisted that he acted in line with his “principles” and highlighted the importance of “stability” with reference to the People’s Alliance’s parliamentary majority.
Türkiye successfully held a historic election in line with democratic maturity. Governments around the world watched closely as 88.92% of eligible voters participated in the election and Turkish democracy proved its strength yet again. In the end, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan beat his opponent, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, by almost 5 percentage points. Meanwhile, the People’s Alliance claimed 322 parliamentary seats – the majority – with 49.5%.
Tens of millions of Turks went to the polls and cast their votes last Sunday to choose the next president and the 600-seat Parliament. Over 30 political parties and five multiparty political coalitions (the People’s Alliance, the Nation Alliance, the ATA Alliance, the Labor and Freedom Alliance, and the Union of Socialist Forces Alliance) competed in the elections. At first, there were four official candidates, namely, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Sinan Oğan and Muharrem Ince. However, after the withdrawal of Ince, only three of them competed for the Presidency.
We experienced another historic night on May 14. The number of votes President Erdoğan received, surpassing 27 million, represents the highest vote count ever recorded. Despite the theories that 5 million new voters would be a handicap for him, the sense of "enough is enough" among the electorate would help secure victory for the opposition, and the economic problems would guarantee a change in power, we saw that these claims did not materialize in the results. The problems among the opposition, their inability to offer a clear message despite the formulation of a joint program, and the difficulties faced by candidate Kılıçdaroğlu in persuading large masses determined the fate of the election. Thanks to the strong psychological advantage brought by the first round, Erdogan will secure a greater proportional advantage and win in the second round.
The election campaign has finally boiled down to a debate over the “real” nationalists. It is hardly surprising that nationalism, which has been on the rise globally since former U.S. President Donald Trump’s term, remains critically important in Türkiye – which continues to combat terrorists.