The gap between the two leading presidential candidates is continuing to narrow as more votes from Turkey’s big cities — which tend to favor opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu — pour in.
State news agency Anadolu is reporting that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s vote has dropped to 49.86% — below the 50% needed to avoid a runoff — ahead of Kilicdaroglu’s 44.38%, with 90% of votes counted.
As the numbers shifted on screens at the AK Party headquarters in Istanbul, the music stopped and the mood darkened.
Soli Ozel, professor of international relations at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, said the race looked likely to go to a runoff
“Over 60% Turkey’s population live in 11 cities. 20% — thereabouts 18 to 19% of Turkey’s population live in Istanbul. Istanbul is a very contested city which the opposition actually won back in 2019,” Ozel told CNN.
“So, we are in the clouds, if you will. But it does look, like I must say, that we will have to go to a second round in the presidential since the parliamentary election is a one-round election.”