Turkey’s Kilidaroglu killed Syrian refugees with a goat to defeat Erdogan

An Al Monitor/Premise poll released this week is Turkey’s president. Recep Tayyip Erdogan Statistically tied with the opposition leader Kemal Kilidaroglu In the run-off, scheduled for Sunday, May 28, Erdogan led in the first round on May 14 from 49.52% to 44.88%, but missed the 50% needed to win outright.

Erdogan’s unlikely edge on the economy

Voters’ top concern (57%) is the economy, not surprising given rising inflation, food prices and unemployment, all in the wake of February’s earthquake that killed 50,000 people.

The bad news is coming. Turkey’s foreign exchange reserves fell into the red this week for the first time in more than 20 years, and its banking system is now dependent on deposits from Arab Gulf states. Mustafa Sonmez has a background in Turkey’s financial crisis. Afshin MolaviWriting in Forbes, he has a preliminary assessment of Turkey’s dire economic challenges after the election.

The dire state of the economy and the recovery from the earthquake should be Erdogan’s burden, but our poll shows that voters have more confidence in the economy than Kilıdaroğlu by 52-48%. If Kilıdaroğlu loses, it will be his inability to blame Erdogan for the economic crisis.

Kilidaroglu’s ugly rights against immigrants

The second leading concern among voters is the 3.6 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey, at 16%.

While polling behind Erdogan on the economy and national security, Kilıdaroğlu is winning voters over immigrants, taking a hard-right, nativist stance that has unsettled many of his supporters in Turkey and abroad.

When Erdogan was accepted as a nationalist candidate Sinan Ogan, Kilidaroglu, who won 5.17% of the votes in the first round of elections, received support. Umit Ozdag The far-right Victory Party.

According to Özdag, he and Kilıdaroglu agreed to repatriate the refugees “within one year”; They are convinced that all this should be done in accordance with international law, ensuring that they will be safe when they return home.

Knowing an opening in the tight presidential race, Kilidaroglu’s message is sharp and clear.

“Make up your mind before immigrants take over the country,” he said at a rally this week.

As Nazlan Ertan reports, Özdag and his triumphant anti-immigrant and vulgar anti-immigrant positions have unsettled other members of Kilıdaroğlu’s coalition, including the Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP), which commands 8% of Kilıdaroğlu’s support.

According to Ezgi Akin, the coalition is stuck together – it seems to be united, it seems only because of the will of its members, Erdogan.

Kilıdaroğlu’s nativist turn against immigrants may be the reason why our latest poll shows Öğan’s support for Erdogan barely reacts.

Erdogan has called the opposition’s approach to refugees “hate speech,” which has allowed him to take a more authoritarian stance, pointing out that he is building “an infrastructure for Syrians to return voluntarily” in a “humane, conscientious and Islamic” manner. road.

“Does Özdag’s modest 2% vote deserve such honor?” She asked, and the answer was, “Maybe not.”

As we wrote here earlier this month, the return of Syrian refugees is a low priority for the Syrian president. Bashar al-Assad, World Health Organization He expects a high price to do anything in terms of reconstruction aid from Arab countries and the lifting of international sanctions. Syria and the Arab League are working on the issue, but expect progress to freeze.

Erdogan and Kilidaroglu agree to reconciliation with Assad. Erdogan has increased his diplomatic pressure in recent months with and in cooperation with the Russian president Vladimir Putin. There is no doubt that such an agreement will be a game changer in the region, but it will also move through the iceberg. Assad is in no rush, and expects Turkey to take the first step by withdrawing its troops and proxies from Syria. If Syrian forces try to retake Idlib, another wave of refugees will likely flow into Turkey. As we wrote last month, Assad and Putin are not the preferred securities for any such high-stakes arrangement. Whoever wins the election, diplomacy with Syria will be slow, and a strong push to resettle Syrian refugees in Turkey will only serve to fuel more instability, trouble and conflict.

Too close to call (again)

15% of those polled said they were undecided heading into Sunday, a surprisingly large percentage in such a close race.

And then there are the side switches. Another 14% of voters said they would not vote for the same candidate in the second round, although it was unclear which candidate would benefit more from the unelected.

Erdogan maintains an edge through media control and censorship, which has increased in the run-up to the election, Jack Dutton reports.

Another note from the poll is that 5% of voters prioritized democracy and 11% for justice, which means that the rule of law under Erdogan is a threat. These numbers are important, but this election is, above all, a referendum on the economy. Given the depth of Turkey’s crisis, it is puzzling that Erdogan has sidelined this issue. Whoever wins Sunday, the reforms and sacrifices required for economic transformation will be difficult.


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