Erdogan wins re-election support in Turkey's earthquake-stricken regions

Erdogan wins re-election support in Turkey's earthquake-stricken regions
2 min read
29 May, 2023
Many experts had forecasted that Erdogan would lose support due to Turkey's perceived lack of preparedness during February's deadly earthquake, but the incumbent president won support in 9 out of the 11 regions most devastated by the natural disaster
Erdogan supporters in one of Turkey's earthquake-stricken regions celebrate his victory in the presidential run off [Getty]

Newly re-elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won most of the votes in the regions most affected by the earthquakes that struck Turkey in February, according to preliminary results in Turkey's presidential election run off.  

Live Story

Some experts predicted that Erdogan's handling of and perceived lack of preparedness for the earthquakes could tip the balance in favour of the opposition in such regions, severely denting the chances of the incumbent Erdogan getting re-elected. 

In the elections of 2018, Erdogan and the ruling AK Party won the majority of the votes in such regions - which represent around 15% of Turkey’s population - though the majorities were often slim.

However, in Sunday’s runoff, the vote for the Turkish president in those regions held strong. According to preliminary data, Erdogan won 9 out of the 11 worst affected provinces in Turkey’s south.

The earthquakes killed over 50,000 people in Turkey and cost Turkey an estimated $100 billion worth of damage, including an estimated 300,000 homes. The regions that comprise the quake zone are some of the Turkey’s poorest, including large populations of Syrian refugees. Erdogan’s focus for much of the campaign was on promises to rebuild, including 319.000 homes within the first year of his new term.

After the polls closed on Sunday, Erdogan was quick to praise those in the provinces worst hit by the earthquake, saying: “They went to vote in containers, tent cities and cast their votes with great dignity”.