Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the presidential candidate for the opposition Nation Alliance and leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), has called on his supporters not to be discouraged by the outcome of Sunday’s election, promising that he will be successful in the runoff.
Turkey held parliamentary and presidential elections on Sunday. Although most public surveys showed Kılıçdaroğlu running neck-and-neck with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or defeating him in the first round, Kılıçdaroğlu finished the race lagging behind Erdoğan.
According to preliminary unofficial results, while Kılıçdaroğlu received 44.8 percent of the nationwide vote, the support for Erdoğan stood at 49.5 percent, which requires a runoff since neither of the candidates was able to exceed the 50 percent threshold.
“My dear people, we have been working nonstop since yesterday. Please don’t get discouraged. I will hold my head up high. I will give you my views about what has happened. Then we will stand together and win this election. In the end, only what the nation says will happen,” Kılıçdaroğlu tweeted on Monday.
Sevgili Halkım, dünden bu yana aralıksız çalışıyoruz. Sakın ola ki bir ümitsizliğe kapılmayın. Ben dik duracağım. Olan bitene dair net tespitlerimi size anlatacağım. Sonrasında da ayağa kalkıp hep birlikte bu seçimi alacağız. Her şeyin sonunda, sadece milletimizin dediği olacak.
— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) May 15, 2023
Prominent CHP politician and İstanbul provincial chairperson Canan Kaftancıoğlu was also hopeful for the runoff and sought to encourage supporters not to be disappointed with Kılıçdaroğlu’s failure to lead or win in the first round.
Mücadeleyi bıraktığın zaman kaybedersin!
İstanbul örgütümüzle birlikte yine elimizden geleni yapacak ve yine vatandaşlarımızın hem gönlünü, hem oyunu almaya çalışacağız.
Son sözü vatandaş söyleyecek!
Ve inanıyorum 2. turda başaracağız…#SanaSöz https://t.co/V2cUfniFjC
— Canan Kaftancıoğlu (@Canan_Kaftanci) May 15, 2023
She tweeted that she would do her best with her party’s İstanbul organization to win both the hearts and votes of the people in the second round.
“The people will have the final word. And I believe we will succeed it in the second round,” said Kaftancıoğlu.
As the votes were being counted on Sunday, Kılıçdaroğlu and some CHP officials accused Erdoğan’s party of objecting to the results from certain ballot boxes to block the system.
“There are ballot boxes that have been objected to six times, 11 times,” he said, adding: “You are blocking the will of Turkey.”
Kılıçdaroğlu said: “You can’t prevent what happens through objections. We won’t allow a fait accompli.”
He urged Erdoğan to stop his “perception management” and the national election board to act responsibly.