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Zelensky congratulates Erdogan on victory in presidential election after run-off vote

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 28, 2023 11:25 PM 2 min read
People walk by an election campaign poster for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 25 in Istanbul. (Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter upon his re-election as President of Turkey.

With almost 99% of ballots counted in the second round of Turkey's presidential election, incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan received 52% of the votes, according to unofficial data published the state-run Anadolu Agency.

We count on the further strengthening of the strategic partnership for the benefit of our countries, as well as the strengthening of cooperation for the sake of the security and stability of Europe,Zelensky wrote.

Erdogan, 69, who has ruled the country for the past 20 years, failed to win more than 50% of the vote in the first round on May 14.

At the same time, opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who said he would keep fighting for “real democracy” in the country, received almost 48% respectively.

“This was the most unfair election period in our history,” said Kilicdaroglu. “In this election, the will of the people to change an authoritarian government became clear despite all the pressures,” Kilicdaroglu said as reported by CNN.

Erdogan will remain the head of the country for another 5-year presidential term.

Earlier, Yevgeniya Gaber, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Turkey, said that if Erdogan wins in the second round, the vital grain deal between Ukraine and Russia would be preserved.

“If Kilicdaroglu wins, Russia will try to disrupt these agreements and renegotiate on new, more favorable terms," Gaber said. "Any loosening of Turkey's grip allows Russia to undermine the grain corridors."

How Turkey’s presidential runoff may affect balancing act between Russia and the West
Russia and Ukraine are paying close attention to Turkey’s presidential runoff scheduled for May 28. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fell short of a simple majority in the first round, with 49.5% of the vote. His main challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, trailed with 44.8%. The third most popular candidat…

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