The primary opponent of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan~, in the Turkish presidential election changed course and took a more hardline, nationalist stance on Thursday, promising to deport millions of refugees if elected and rejecting the notion of peace talks with the Kurds. There will be a runoff election in Turkey on May 28 because neither Erdogan nor his opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, received more than 50% of the vote in the first round of voting on Sunday.
The outcome of the election will determine whether the nation continues to be ruled by the president, who is becoming more and more dictatorial, for a third decade, or if a more democratic path may be taken, as the opposition has pledged. Due to the cost-of-living crisis and criticism of the government’s response to a deadly earthquake in February, Erdogan had been facing electoral difficulties. Erdogan is currently well-positioned to prevail in the second round, though, with his alliance still holding sway over the legislature. Ogan, who earned 5.2% of the vote and is supported by a party that is anti-immigration, has stated that he would think about forcibly returning immigrants.
“Erdogan! You failed to defend the nation’s honor or its borders. In a speech delivered at the headquarters of his party, Kilicdaroglu claimed that more than 10 million refugees had been brought in. “You have created refugees out of your own citizens. I declare that I will return all refugees home as soon as I become office. Period.” Kilicdaroglu had previously declared his intention to repatriate refugees within two years by establishing welcoming conditions for their return, amid mounting anti-migrant sentiment in the nation. According to statistics, Turkey is the nation housing the most refugees, including at least 3.7 million Syrians.
The leader of the CHP also retaliated against Erdogan, who had claimed that Kilicdaroglu was working with “terrorists” after he obtained support from the nation’s pro-Kurdish party. Analysts claim the story appears to have resonated with nationalist voters who shied away from supporting Kilicdaroglu for fear that he wouldn’t be harsh enough against terrorism because Erdogan controls the country’s mainstream media.
Unfortunately, Erdogan’s tactics of deceit and defamation overshadowed an election process that ought to have been a celebration of democracy, according to Kilicdaroglu. “Weren’t you the one negotiating behind-closed-doors deals with terrorist organizations while seated at the same table as them? I hereby state in front of each and every one of my compatriots that I have never met with terrorist organizations and never will. Finally, he said. He was alluding to the failed 2015 peace negotiations between Erdogan’s administration and the PKK, also known as the Kurdistan Workers Party. Turkey, the US, and the EU all classify the PKK as a terrorist group because it has been waging an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984.
News on SNBC13.com