In the Turkish presidential election held on Sunday, no candidate secured the required 50% majority to win outright, according to Turkey’s High Election Board (YSK), as reported by news agency Reuters. Incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received 49.51% of the votes, while his main rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu received 44.88% and the third candidate, Sinan Ogan, received 5.2%. Consequently, a second round of voting for the presidential election is scheduled for May 28.
Know about Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the centre-left, pro-secular Republican People’s Party, or CHP who is known as “Turkey’s Gandhi” and emerged as a prominent rival to long-standing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a 74-year-old former civil servant, is the candidate of the opposition parties forming a coalition against President Erdogan. He hails from the rebellious eastern Tunceli province, known for its Kurdish and Alevi majority. However, Kilicdaroglu faces challenges in winning over conservative Sunni voters, who form the core of Erdogan’s support. If elected, he would be the first Alevi to lead Turkey.
Kilicdaroglu is often referred to as “Turkey’s Gandhi” due to his mild manners and physical resemblance to Mahatma Gandhi. He is married to Selvi and has three children. Described to be “modest”, he once said, “We didn’t have a fridge, washing machine or dishwasher.
As the leader of the pro-secular main opposition party, Kilicdaroglu aimed to reverse crackdowns on free speech and address democratic setbacks. He also sought to revive the economy, which has been affected by high inflation and currency devaluation.