Turkey is holding today (May 14, 2023) the most crucial elections in its history (read our full pre-elections analysis here).
Internationalist Standpoint will cover the developments around the elections and will provide live updates, starting from 3pm local time (GMT+3). Once every hour we will provide information and comments. Our posts will be shared in this article, which will be updated hourly.Follow @int_standpoint
Read our post-election analysis for the first round of the presidential elections and the parliamentary elections here
Presidential elections most likely to go to the second round
The final results of the Turkish elections are still unclear due to intense objections to the ballot box results. However, it is almost certain that neither of the two candidates in the presidential elections have passed the 50 percent threshold needed to be elected from the first round. 99.72 percent of the ballot boxes have been opened and the first results are as follows:
- Tayyip Erdoğan: 49.26 percent
- Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu: 45.04 percent
- Sinan Oğan: 5.28 percent
- Muharrem Ince: 0.42 percent
The picture is similar in the parliamentary elections. With 99 percent of the votes counted, the latest results are as follows:
- People’s Alliance (Erdoğan+): 49.68 percent
- Nation Alliance (Kılıçdaroğlu+): 35.9 percent
- Alliance for Labor and Freedom (HDP, TIP+other left forces): 10.35 percent
- Union of Socialist Forces (SOL+TKP+others): 0.27 percent
The AKP is again the first party in the Parliament, but its 42.28 percent of the vote in the 2018 elections dropped to 35.64 percent in these elections. The AKP and the People’s Alliance again failed to reach the 360 parliamentary seats needed to change the Constitution.
TİP, which is part of the Labor and Freedom Alliance but stood in elections under its own name in 41 provinces, got 1.74% of the vote and maintained its 4 deputies.
Speaking after the election results, Kılıçdaroğlu said:
“Our nation has called for a second round. We will definitely, definitely win this election in the second round. Everyone will see this.”
“The provisional results have shown that Erdoğan did not get the vote of confidence he expected from society. The demand for change in society is over 50 percent. The loss of votes in the AKP also shows this reality. For the next 15 days, we will fight for Turkey together with our nation to bring rights, law and justice to this country. Our people should be sure. We will definitely, definitely win and bring democracy to this country.”
The situation with the vote count is chaotic, as it is clear that the AKP regime is deliberately trying to stall the results that are not favourable for Erdogan. We will pause our live feed for the night and will resume in the morning.
In Şırnak/Cizre, where Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu received over 70 percent of the votes in the presidential elections and the Green and Left Party over 80 percent of the votes in the parliamentary elections, security forces are constantly firing shots in the air and throwing tear gas bombs into the streets.
In Hatay, the Workers Party of Turkey (TIP) secured the election of lawyer Can Atalay, a prisoner of the Gezi uprising, with over 8 percent of the vote. In Istanbul, at least two TİP MPs will be elected. The total number of deputies for the Alliance for Labor and Freedom is calculated to be 61.
Prominent journalist Murat Yetkin claimed that President Erdoğan instructed Anadolu Agency, the official state agency, to keep the gap between Kılıçdaroğlu and himself at 10 percent in his favor for as long as they can. The AKP is objecting to all polling stations where Kılıçdaroğlu is ahead. Some ballot boxes were counted for the ninth time. In addition, news channels are constantly reporting that data from some provinces where Kılıçdaroğlu was ahead was deliberately not uploaded to the system. Data from Diyarbakır, where Kılıçdaroğlu received 70 percent of the vote, has not yet been processed. In metropolitan cities, most of the polling stations have not been opened. For example, 90 percent of the votes in three districts of Ankara, where Kılıçdaroğlu is ahead, have not been opened. The same is true for some districts in Istanbul. All opposition parties are calling on citizens not to leave the polling stations. At the moment Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seems to be ahead (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 48.73% and Kılıçdaroğlu 45.52%), but we will have to wait for the final results.
Information from Green Left Party-YSP Beyoglu (Istanbul) coordination:
Not even one of the minutes we expected at 19.00 at the latest has arrived in the district. The result would normally be announced at this hour. 48 schools, 480 ballot boxes, 0 minutes. AKP people are beating people in front of schools in Beyoğlu. AKP is objecting to all the ballot boxes.
40 thousand ballot boxes have not been opened, 15 million votes have not been counted.
According to the official data that CHP provides, Erdoğan is ahead of Kılıçdaroğlu by only half a percentage point. But according to CHP representatives, the AKP is constantly filing objections in the polling stations in which Kılıçdaroğlu is ahead. For this reason, especially in big cities, where Kılıçdaroğlu received a large number of votes, the data is not yet being processed.
According to journalist Murat AĞIREL, based on the figures from the independent count that CHP has organised, Kılıçdaroğlu is currently leading with 1.37 per cent.:
Total Number of Ballot Boxes : 192.169
Number of Ballot Boxes Opened: 57.989
K.Kılıçdaroğlu : 47.81% -7.073.057 votes
RT.Erdogan: 46.42% -6,868,370 votes
S.Oğan: 5.32% -797.664 votes
(Wet Signed Minutes)
Referring to the Anadolu Agency, a representative from the majority Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to the electoral commission said: “There is a great media manipulation. AA gets all the information from the government’s partners.”
Flash statement from CHP Spokesperson Faik Öztrak. Öztrak said, “Anadolu Agency is doing its traditional manipulations for the last time. According to the data coming to us, the picture is positive. Keep watching us,” he said.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the presidential candidate of the Nation Alliance, said, “I would like to address our heroes of democracy. Until the last signed ballot box report is delivered, no matter what happens, never leave the ballot boxes.”
According to Anadolu Agency data, 10 per cent of the opened ballot boxes show Erdoğan with 58 per cent and Kılıçdaroğlu with 35 per cent.
This is something that is always done, Anadolu (which is controlled by the regime) always starts by showing Erdoğan in a favourable light, in order to demoralise the polling staff and make them leave the polling stations.
In the first election after the 1980 coup, voter turnout was 93 per cent, with the military still present in the election centers. Turnout in these elections is expected to exceed even that threshold.
Co-spokespersons of the Green Left Party and HDP made a call to “protect the ballot boxes and votes” after the polls closed.
Green Left Party Co-spokesperson Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar said:
“Dear women and young people, for the democratisation of the Republic and the construction of a peaceful and equal country, let’s protect the ballot boxes, votes, stamped minutes and ballot bags. We are on the verge of a historic victory. We will surely win. We will change history together.”
HDP Co-Chair Pervin Buldan said:
“Dear friends, we must ensure that not a single one of our votes is wasted in order to turn the election that thousands of young people, women and labourers have worked so hard to achieve into a victory. Let’s protect the votes we cast, let’s protect the vote bags.”
A note from a comrade (lawyer) working at the polling station in Şırnak (a Kurdish province):
“There is no open counting. People are prevented from counting their votes. This is decided by the chairmen of the ballot box committees themselves. While there is nobody else present.
There are many complaints about this in Şırnak. We are trying to reach everywhere, but the chairman of the Provincial Election Board speaks to us differently than the police.
The chief of the police personally told me that I do not recognise the law, if the administration gives orders contrary to the law, I will implement them.”
In Mardin, a Green Left Party observer who wanted to record the mass voting of AKP parliamentary candidate Faruk Kılıç and his relatives was attacked.
Voting ended by 5 pm. Between 6pm and 9pm, only news and communiqués to be issued by the Supreme Election Council (YSK) regarding the election may be broadcast. After 9pm, all broadcasts will be free, but the YSK may move this time limit earlier. Depending on the speed of vote counting, broadcasts are generally released earlier.
191.910 ballot boxes were set up in 81 provinces for the elections. A total of 60.697.845 voters were eligible to vote in these ballot boxes.
In Istanbul, 11.350.969 people had the chance to vote in 30.803 ballot boxes and it is the province that will have the highest number of deputies (98).
In Ankara the numbers were 4.280.941 eligible voters in 12.251 ballot boxes and in İzmir, 3.441.360 eligible voters in 9.877 ballot boxes.
4.904.672 people were eligible to vote for the first time. It is expected that the majority will support the opposition candidates.
If the presidential election goes to the second round, 47.523 more voters will have the right to vote in the elections to be held 2 weeks later.
In addition, there are 53.172 thousand voters who are under arrest in prison.
Especially in Kurdish provinces (due to existing military and police repression) and rural areas there are some complaints of observers reported such as open voting, gendarmerie interfered with voting etc., and legal actions were taken. Other than that, it can be stated that the tension was not higher than in previous elections.
İt is observed that the participation rate is high in general across Turkey.
The counting of ballot boxes is expected to take at least an hour. Then, after the minutes are taken, the votes will be taken to the consolidation centers.
After M. İnce, one of the 4 presidential candidates, withdrew from the election, according to the polls, it seems possible that Kılıçdaroğlu will win in the first round with around 51 per cent.
High level of participation is expected in the election, and is already reported in several polling stations.
Although there are reports of irregularities from various places, no large-scale problems have been reported yet.
The polls will close at 5pm.
In Turkey, where both presidential and parliamentary elections are taking place simultaneously, the presidential candidates of the three alliances cast their votes and made brief statements. “We miss democracy very much. Insallah spring will come,” said Kılıçdaroglu, the presidential candidate of the National Alliance, while Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the incumbent president and candidate, said, “It is very important for our voters to cast their votes without any worries and to show the strength of Turkish democracy.” The third candidate, ultranationalist Sinan Oğan, took his bodyguards to the polling station. Muharrem İnce, who withdrew his candidacy at the last minute, preferred to scold journalists for the smear campaign against him.
Voting in Turkey started in the morning. Ballot box security has been one of the most talked about issues in the last few elections. Both the political parties and the civil initiative Oy ve Ötesi (Vote and Beyond) have observers and staff at all schools and polling stations. It is not expected that there will be any problems during voting in big cities. However, there are concerns that in smaller cities and in areas where the AKP-MHP are strong, there may be problems such as not allowing observers to work.
So far, two cases of duplicate votes have been detected, one in Istanbul and one in Mersin. A Workers Party of Turkey (TİP) observer was beaten when he tried to intervene when AKP officials went to the polling station with voters.