Turks head back to the polls Sunday in a pivotal runoff election for Turkey and the region. The first vote, on May 14, ended with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the lead — but without the outright majority needed to secure the country’s highest seat of power. Around 49 percent voted for Erdogan and 45 percent for opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
While the May 14 vote appeared mostly free and secure, the playing field is uneven, given Erdogan’s increasingly autocratic rule, control of state media and the wide patronage networks of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Over the past two weeks, both candidates have campaigned hard to secure their base. But after years of Erdogan consolidating power and a strong first-round performance, analysts say it will be hard for the opposition to prevail.