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Mahmoud Bennett

Social Media Producer/Reporter

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International

Erdogan vs. Kilicdaroglu: High-stakes election looms in Turkey

May 12, 2023

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Mahmoud Bennett

Social Media Producer/Reporter

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As Turkey gears up for its election on May 14, citizens are faced with an important question: is the country better off with President Erdogan or without him? Erdogan has been in power for two decades as Turkey assumes an increasingly important role in global affairs.

NATO Membership

Turkey is a key member of NATO and is strategically placed between Europe and Asia. It has historical ties to nations like Russia. However, analysts say Turkey has positioned itself as a neutral player in the Ukraine war — as being pro-Ukrainian without being anti-Russian.

Erdogan’s decision to a roadblock Sweden’s attempt to join NATO has been met with criticism. However, the future of Turkey’s relationship with the West hangs in the balance as Erdogan’s opposition signals a desire for closer ties.

Migration a top political issue

Migration is another major issue for Turkey. Refugees, especially those fleeing civil war in neighboring Syria, were once greeted with open arms in Turkey, but anti-migration sentiment is on the rise amid the economic downturn, according to The Associated Press.

Turkey has an agreement with the EU to retain migrants on Turkish territory in exchange for financial support. However, some of these policies have faced heavy criticism, and upcoming decisions on migration could pose challenges for EU nations concerned about potential changes leading to a migrant crisis.

Elections near

Turkey has become deeply divided on issues ranging from secularism to the Syrian conflict. Now, six opposing parties have united behind one candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, to take on Erdogan.

Kilicdaroglu has been described as the antithesis of Erdogan, with a vision of a more democratic Turkey. He has previously taken on Erdogan three times in past elections, but lost. Currently, polling curated by Politico has Kilicdaroglu (50%) slightly ahead of Erdogan (46%) as Turkish people head out to vote on May 14.

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MAHMOUD BENNETT:

IS TURKEY BETTER OFF WITH PRESIDENT ERDOGAN OR WITHOUT EM – THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY WILL BE ASKING THEMSELVES WHEN THEY VOTE SUNDAY

 

PRESIDENT ERDOGAN HAS BEEN IN POWER FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS, AND DURING THAT TIME, TURKEY HAS PLAYED AN INCREASINGLY CRUCIAL ROLE IN WORLD AFFAIRS. SO AHEAD OF THIS ELECTION – HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

 

TURKEY IS AN IMPORTANT MEMBER OF THE NATO ALLIANCE – IT’S A BIG COUNTRY STRATEGICALLY PLACED BETWEEN EUROPE AND ASIA WITH HISTORIC TIES TO NATIONS LIKE RUSSIA

-BUT AS ERDOGAN MAINTAINS TURKEY’S CLAIMED NEUTRALITY TO THE RUSSIA UKRAINE CONFLICT- HE’S BEEN BLOCKING SWEDEN FROM JOINING NATO.. THAT FUTURE HANGS IN THE BALANCE AS ERDOGAN’S OPPOSITION INDICATES WANTING CLOSER TIES WITH THE WEST

 

MIGRATION IS ANOTHER MAJOR ISSUE FOR TURKEY – THE COUNTRY HAS A LONGSTANDING AGREEMENT WITH THE EU WHERE MIGRANTS WHO WOULD OTHERWISE FLOOD INTO EUROPE ARE HOUSED ON TURKISH TERRITORY IN RETURN FOR BILLIONS OF EUROS – AND THOSE POLICIES ARE NOT WITHOUT CRITICISM….. UPCOMING BATTLES ON MIGRATION COULD BRING FORTH CHALLENGES FOR MANY EU NATIONS WHO FEAR THEY COULD SOON HAVE TO DEAL WITH A MIGRANT CRISIS


WITH TURKEY DEEPLY DIVIDED ON THOSE ISSUES AMONG OTHERS RANGING FROM SECULARISM TO THE SYRIAN CONFLICT – SIX OPPOSITION PARTIES HAVE UNITED BEHIND ONE CANDIDATE TO TAKE ON ERDOGAN

 

OFTEN DESCRIBED AS THE ANTITHESIS OF ERDOGAN, KEMAL KILICDAROGLU BILLS HIMSELF AS A FIGHTER FOR A MORE DEMOCRATIC TURKEY

 

HE’S TAKEN ON ERDOGAN 3 TIMES BEFORE BUT LOST… NOW POLLING SHOWS KILICDAROGLU JUST SLIGHTLY AHEAD AS TURKISH PEOPLE HEAD OUT TO VOTE IN THIS CRUCIAL ELECTION