Turkey Faces the Unknown in Knife-Edge Vote

(Bloomberg) --

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the longest-tenured leader among the Group of 20 nations – depending on how Vladimir Putin's reign is measured – but Turkey’s chief executive since 2003 is taking no chances.

In the final day of campaigning before elections Sunday, Erdogan had seven appearances on his schedule in Istanbul, the megalopolis festooned with banners along virtually every highway and byway – most with his face on it.

When he surprised the country in April with his call for a vote, the conventional wisdom was that his win, cementing his authority in a newly bolstered office of the president, along with a compliant parliament, was a lock.

Now, no one’s quite sure. Opposition candidate Muharrem Ince’s side claims 2 million people showed up for his rally in the city of Izmir yesterday.

With reporting of new polls banned for the 10 days leading up to the vote, any outcome seems plausible. These include an Erdogan sweep – a first-round majority and his party taking parliament – or his falling short of 50 percent, requiring a second round in two weeks, or a split decision where he wins the office but his party loses parliament.

We should have an idea of the outcome by Sunday night, and declaration of the victors by early Monday. 

Turkey Faces the Unknown in Knife-Edge Vote

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Turkey Faces the Unknown in Knife-Edge Vote



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