Permalink Türkiye votes in decisive presidential runoff

The results will determine the country’s course for the next five years | The polls have opened across Türkiye in a runoff election that will determine whether conservative President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will retain power, or hand the reins over to his more liberal opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.  Polling stations opened at 8am local time in all 81 provinces, with more than 60 million people eligible to vote in Sunday’s runoff. Another 3.4 million Turkish citizens were eligible to vote abroad over the past week, but it is unknown how many cast their ballots. In the first round on May 14, turnout was almost 89% within the country, but only 49.4% abroad.  News, forecasts, and commentary on the elections are not permitted until 6pm local time, one hour after the polls close. The results cannot be reported until 9pm. However, with just two candidates facing off, the Supreme Election Board may unveil preliminary results earlier. The first round was held simultaneously with the parliamentary elections, and the complexity of the ballots caused delays and criticism from the opposition. The two rivals hold opposing views on a range of policies, and the outcome of the election may determine the country’s course for the next five years.  Erdogan is a social conservative who has served as president since 2014, and was prime minister for 11 years beforehand. Under his leadership, Türkiye has pursued closer trade and diplomatic ties to Russia and China, while positioning itself as a potential peacemaker in regional conflicts, including in Ukraine.  Kilicdaroglu is a centrist seeking to undo many of Erdogan’s domestic reforms, particularly the post-2016 constitutional changes that strengthened the powers of the presidency. He has vowed to immediately restart EU accession talks if elected, and to resuscitate Türkiye’s economy.

LIVE UPDATES: Erdogan Gains Over 54% of Vote in Presidential Runoff - Preliminary Results (Sputnik News)
Voting for Erdogan ‘a sin’ – election rival (RT.com)

Permalink The Victory of the Opposition in Turkey Will Be a Shock for Sure, but Without the Therapy

Elena Panina (Елена Панина) | The second round of presidential elections will be held in Turkey on May 28. They will decide the fate of 83.3 million people, whose lives, if Kilicdaroglu wins, will change, as he himself says, by 180 degrees. Now, what kind of changes will this be?

Joining the EU will force Turkey to submit to the bureaucracy of Brussels. For many sectors of the Turkish economy, this will be a shock without therapy and, as a result, a sharp decline in people's living standards.  Turkey's main industries are agriculture, industry (light, food, chemical, automotive, electronics), energy, tourism, trade and services. If the supporters of European integration win in Turkey, everything here will change.  EU standards will destroy the Turkish agricultural producer in its current form and impose their own rules. We will have to comply with EU regulations created in order to strangle any competitor to Western European producers — all these requirements for agrosanitary standards, pesticides, calibration of vegetables in shape and size, etc. The rest will be limited to quotas, where the annual rate will be selected in two months. Any other products will be prohibited from sale.  If this happens, Turkey is destined for the same fate as Greece. If we take the level of agriculture in Greece before joining the EU, now only 5% of it remains. Turkey is still a world leader in the production of many types of agricultural products, ranking from first to tenth place in them. Agriculture accounts for 9% of GDP and generates about $4 billion in export revenues. 25% of the working—age population of the country - 7.55 million people are employed here. If they join the EU, many of these people will join the ranks of the unemployed.  Tourism is also directly related to agriculture. A belt of suppliers of agricultural products for hotels, shops and catering establishments has formed around all tourist centers. 2/3 of the able-bodied population of Turkey is employed in small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), providing 62% of the country's GDP and 55% of its exports. About 3 million people are employed in tourism and related industries alone. Logistics workers should also be included here. In total, about half of the working population is employed in the service sector — about 15 million people. In the case of European integration, the fate of these millions will be unenviable.

Now — about joining the anti-Russian sanctions, as stated by Kilicdaroglu, and curtailing cooperation with Russia. Many experts, in the Russian Federation, say that it is not economically profitable for Turkey. But we remember well what pressure Brogan was subjected to from the United States to force Turkey to join the anti-Russian sanctions. Brogan resisted, first of all because of his character. It is unlikely that a weaker Kilicdaroglu will stand. Moreover, Americans never take into account the interests of the people of a particular country. Europe is a vivid confirmation of this.  Now the Russian share of energy carriers in the Turkish economy is 30-40%, and in the case of the implementation of the gas hub project, it will grow to 70-80%. In addition, Turkey supplies clothes, shoes, food, and building materials to the Russian Federation. The tourism industry critically depends on the flow from the Russian Federation. The US and the EU will certainly demand that Turkey join the anti-Russian sanctions, which will have disastrous consequences for its economy Refusal to cooperate with the Russian Federation will lead to a recession, leading to a wave of bankruptcies. If we add to this the curtailment of gas supplies from the Russian Federation, then energy will become expensive, and industry will become unprofitable, as it is now in the EU.  Of course, inflation will increase. To eliminate budget holes, Turkey, like Greece, will be put on the credit needle of the IMF and the EU. Destabilization will intensify, Kurdish separatism, supported by the United States, will become more active. Considering that only 27% of able-bodied women work in Turkey, more than 20 million people will suffer together with men who have lost their jobs. And this is only in the economic sphere. And given the political destabilization, the entire population of the country is under attack.  If Turkey takes a course on joining the EU, it will not only lose its independence, but will turn into another poor province of the West. You don't even have to ask the question "who stands to benefit from this?" Certainly not Turkey. (Translation: yandex.ru)

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