Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has failed to secure the 50 percent of votes needed to win the country’s fiercely contested presidential election outright.
With more than 99 percent of the votes counted, Erdogan had 49 percent of votes, compared to 45 percent for his main opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu – meaning neither could claim an outright win. The election is seen as a potential game changer for Turkey and the wider region, with a key NATO ally and regional power broker at stake.
Erdogan has faced economic headwinds and criticism following a devastating earthquake earlier this year. His main opponent is backed by an election coalition of six opposition parties, who welcomed the prospect of a runoff vote. Analysts predict that Erdogan will not give up power easily, should Kilicdaroglu manage to pull ahead in the second round. The outcome is also being watched closely internationally, as Turkey has strengthened its ties with Russia in recent years despite warnings from the United States.