Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is not giving up power without a fight having spent 20 years acquiring a taste for it. A second-round runoff looked inevitable with nearly 99 per cent of votes counted this morning in Turkey’s most consequential election in a generation. Erdoğan had 49.95 per cent of votes cast, according to the central election commission. His challenger, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, was trailing by about five points but – publicly at least – upbeat. “If our nation says second round, we will absolutely win in the second round,” he said. The remaining 5 per cent of votes went to an ultra-nationalist who hasn’t yet declared for either leading candidate, but it’s hard to see the state-backed media outlets that overwhelmingly back Erdoğan abandoning him now. Kılıçdaroğlu has his work cut out. Round 2 will be on 28 May.
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