2023 Turkiye Presidential Election
The Turkish presidential race headed into a runoff on 14 May as both Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his main challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu seemed unlikely to secure over 50% of the vote.

Turkiye Will Continue to Support Pakistan on Kashmir, No Matter Who Wins Election: Expert

© AP Photo / Khalil HamraSupporters cheer for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan outside the headquarters of AK Party in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, May 14, 2023.
Supporters cheer for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan outside the headquarters of AK Party in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, May 14, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 18.05.2023
Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will face Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, an opposition alliance candidate, during the presidential run-off vote on 28 May.
Turkiye will continue supporting Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute with India regardless of who wins the presidential run-off between incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his main challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, scheduled for 28 May.

“Nationalism is deep-rooted in Turkish politics. Even though the Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate is a secular and his politics is different from Erdogan’s Islamist brand, we could expect little change in Turkiye’s foreign policy agenda if the opposition candidate comes to power,” Qamar Agha, a senior strategic affairs analyst, has told Sputnik.

Erdogan secured 49.5 percent of the vote in the first round of election on Sunday, while Kılıçdaroğlu polled 44.5 percent of the overall vote.
The Indian expert recalled that both Turkiye and Pakistan were members of the US-led Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) during the Cold War and have continued to maintain close relations in spite of the military pact being disbanded in the 1970s.
Agha noted that the six-party ‘Nation Alliance’ being led by Kılıçdaroğlu is composed of several nationalist groupings.
A glimpse of Kılıçdaroğlu’s nationalist streak was on display on Wednesday as he criticised the “disorderly tide of people flooding into our nation daily”. Turkiye hosts around four million Syrian refugees.
Действующий президент Турции Реджеп Тайип Эрдоган с женой на митинге в Анкаре - Sputnik India, 1920, 15.05.2023
2023 Turkiye Presidential Election
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The Indian expert also said that the nationalist politician, Sinan Oğan, who came third in the Sunday’s presidential vote, had become a "key player" in the 28 May run-off vote as both Erdogan and Kılıçdaroğlu would try to court him to sway the election in their favor.
During a state visit to Pakistan in 2020, Erdogan underscored that Ankara would always stand beside Islamabad on the Kashmir matter.
He also criticized the “unilateral steps” in 2019 which he said worsened the human rights situation in the region, a reference to New Delhi’s decision to revoke the semi-autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.
Under Erdogan, Ankara has advocated the resolving of the Kashmir dispute through the UN Security Council (UN) resolutions, a position taken by Islamabad as well.

Kılıçdaroğlu Would Try & ‘Mend Fences’ With the West

Agha remarked that the opposition candidate would try and “mend fences” as far as Turkiye’s ties with the west and the EU are concerned.
“Kılıçdaroğlu has already said that he would like to balance Turkiye’s ties between Russia and the West. I believe he would court the West to invite more Western investments into Turkiye to prop up its economy,” Agha reckoned.
Turkiye’s domestic inflation hit a 24-year-record of 84 per cent last August, prompting Erdogan to lower the interest rates. However, the decision sparked a lowering of the value of Turkish lira vis-aa-vis the US dollar, causing an increase in the imports bill.

Agha however underlined that it would be "difficult for Kılıçdaroğlu to re-orientits policy [away from] Russia in any significant way, given the strong economic linkages between Ankara and Moscow in crucial sectors such as energy, grain, agricultural trade as well as tourism.

Putin🇷🇺 and Erdogan discuss situation in Ukraine, grain deal and Syria via phone call - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.05.2023
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Ankara played a key role in negotiating the UN-brokered 'Black Sea Grain Initiative' between Russia and Ukraine last year resulting in the resumption of grain exports from Ukrainian ports.
In spite of being a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally, Ankara has remained more or less neutral on the issue of Ukraine.
The Russian and Turkish governments also last year agreed to settle a part of their gas trade in Rubles, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after meeting Erdogan on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Samarkand last September.
He also noted that little change could be expected on Ankara’s core issues of national interest, including Cyprus, Kurdistan as well as Syria, in the event of the opposition victory.