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Three differences between Turkey’s 2014 and 2018 presidential elections

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Turkey held its first popular presidential elections in August 2014. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then prime minister and head of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), won the election with the support of 52 percent of voters against his two rivals, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu – the joint candidate of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) - and Selahattin Demirtaş, the now-jailed former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was fiercely criticized for not presenting a candidate from the CHP ranks and agreeing with the MHP on a conservative figure who was well-known in the diplomatic community but a mystery for Turkish public opinion.

Now, four years after the country’s first popular presidential election, Turkey is set to go to be polls again on June 24 to elect the next president, who will enjoy excessive powers granted to the elected head of state through the controversial April 2017 referendum.

There are important differences between the 2014 and 2018 polls, which could be both to the advantage and to the disadvantage of........

© Hürriyet Daily News