Former presidential candidate Muharrem Ince, who was supported by the Nation's Alliance in the 2018 election and lost against current President Erdogan, has withdrawn from the upcoming presidential race. Ince cited concerns about being blamed for the Nation's Alliance's potential defeat and has heeded calls to withdraw from the race.
On May 14, Turkey will hold a presidential election with significant implications not only for the country but also for the global community.
Turkey is a crucial player at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and the election outcome could impact regional stability and global politics.
Two major alliances are competing in the election: the People's Alliance, led by Erdogan, and the Nation's Alliance, led by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the current head of the main opposition party.
The first round of voting has four candidates, and if no candidate wins more than 50% of the votes, a second round will take place on May 28 between the two candidates with the highest votes.
Despite polling low, Ince's withdrawal from the race is a critical blow to Erdogan's chances of winning, as the Nation's Alliance had urged its supporters to "get this done in the first round" and avoid splitting the vote.
Claims of Blackmail
Before his decision to withdraw, Ince cancelled his speeches at key provinces due to 'health reasons' and tweeted that he was being blackmailed by the alleged orchestrators of the 2016 coup attempt, the terrorist organization FETÖ. Ince accused FETÖ members of making false accusations against him and spreading fake documents and videos to discredit him.
The chief public prosecutor's office has opened an investigation into Ince's claims.
"Let's Get This Done in the First Round"
Welcoming Ince's decision to withdraw, Nation's Alliance presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has invited Ince to join their alliance as well.
Meanwhile, Sinan Oğan, the only remaining presidential candidate outside the two major alliances, is still running.
The stakes are high for both alliances, as the outcome of the election will determine Turkey's political trajectory for years to come.
The election is also being closely watched by the international community, as Turkey is a significant NATO ally, and the result will impact the country's relationship with the alliance.
Recently, the mayor of Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu was attacked with rocks during a campaign speech in support of the Nation's alliance, resulting in numerous injuries to supporters, including children.
The attack took place in a province governed by Erdoğan's party, and İmamoğlu accused the police of being given orders not to intervene. Some have accused the People's Alliance of orchestrating the attack.
As Turkey prepares to vote in this critical election, all eyes are on the nation.
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