Turkey election: Erdogan’s challenger vows to end ‘authoritarian rule’

May 12, 2023

Voters will be persistent.”Opinion polls have shown a tight race between Kilicdaroglu (KUH-litch-DAR-oh-loo), a former government bureaucrat who leads Turkey’s largest opposition party, and Erdogan, 69, who has ruled Turkey since 2003. © Khalil Hamra/AP People attend a Kilicdaroglu campaign rally Saturday in Istanbul. That has not prevented long-standing differences between coalition partners from bursting into public view, including when Kilicdaroglu’s candidacy was announced in March. Kilicdaroglu has also increasingly shied away from the negative campaign rhetoric about Erdogan that he used in the past, Korkmaz said. As he has during his campaign, Kilicdaroglu reserved most of his focus in the interview for the changes he would bring to Turkey, where he has pledged to restore a parliamentary system.