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Neck-and-neck race in Turkey between Erdogan, Kilicdaroglu

Challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu is showing signs of closing the gap on incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Supporters of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu wave national flags as they gather in front of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality during a protest in Istanbul on December 15, 2022, after a Turkish court sentenced him to more than two years jail and banned him from politics ahead of next year's presidential election. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP) (Photo by YASIN AKGUL/AFP via Getty Images)

ISTANBUL — With Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections less than six weeks away on May 14, public opinion polls are showing a tight contest between the two dominant candidates President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

Over the weekend one of Turkey’s most respected polling companies, MetroPoll, revealed that its March research on voters’ attitudes showed a slender 2.6% lead for Kilicdaroglu, who heads the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and is the candidate of the Nation Alliance. 

Results from MetroPoll’s research since the start of the year saw Kilicdaroglu closing the gap. Support for Erdogan fell from 45.9% in January to 42% in March — a period that saw Turkey hit by devastating earthquakes, leading to criticism of the government’s response — while those backing Kilicdaroglu rose from 43% to 44.6%. 

However, further details show a more nuanced picture in the race between the two favorites. 

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