Turkey’s runoff election will decide if Erdogan extends his 20-year rule

Turkish voters head to the polls on Sunday for a runoff election that could extend President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 20-year rule.

Background: Erdogan is running for another five-year term against political veteran Kemal Kilicdaroglu, after the first round on May 14 gave Erdogan the most votes with 49.5% compared to Kilicdaroglu’s 44.9%.
* This election is crucial as Turkey is grappling with a drawn-out economic crisis and struggling to recover from earthquakes in February.

Economic troubles: The value of the Turkish lira has sunk to new lows, and Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policy has been widely criticized.
* Official annual inflation climbed to 85% last October before easing to just below 44% in April, while independent economists estimate the actual rate is much higher.

Campaign issues and predictions: Both Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu have hardened their stance on returning refugees and Kurdish militants, as they scramble to appeal to hard-line nationalists.
* Pre-election opinion polls suggest a close race between the two candidates, with Erdogan slightly ahead.

View original article on NPR

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