Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said Sunday he was leading President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the country’s crucial election, Agence France-Presse reported.
“We are ahead,” Kılıçdaroğlu tweeted, after the Anadolu state news agency gave the early edge to Erdoğan.
— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) May 14, 2023
Anadolu showed the 69-year-old picking up more than 52 percent of the vote and his rival Kılıçdaroğlu, 74, trailing with 41 percent.
Most of the early votes appeared to be coming from heavily pro-government districts and Erdoğan’s lead was shrinking as the number of counted ballots grew.
“We are seeing a positive picture, according to our data,” opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesman Faik Öztrak told reporters.
“We will start to give the numbers when the number of opened ballot boxes reaches a meaningful level.”
Most pre-election polls showed Kılıçdaroğlu enjoying a slight advantage and close to breaking the 50-percent threshold needed to avoid a May 28 runoff.