Turkish voters head to the polls on Sunday for the second time in two weeks, in one of the most decisive presidential races in the republic’s history.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who at age 69 has led Turkey for 20 years, is seeking another five-year term. Running against him is Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a 74-year-old political veteran backed by a diverse coalition of opposition parties.
In the first round on May 14, Erdogan received the most votes with 49.5%, compared to Kilicdaroglu’s 44.9%. Now, the opposition is scrambling to close the gap for what will be the country’s first runoff election for president.
The election comes as Turkey is grappling with a drawn-out economic crisis as well as struggling to recover from devastating earthquakes in February.
The world is closely watching, as the candidates’ opposing visions for Turkey — an important NATO member — could have implications for security, immigration and other areas of global interest.