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Experts to CNN: The Turkish presidential elections are a referendum on Erdogan and change

Istanbul, Turkey (CNN) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces a majority in the country that wants change, but it remains an open question whether voters see his main rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, as an agent for that change, experts say.

Asli Aydintasbas, a former journalist and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., told CNN: “You can say, poll after poll, that young people want better economics and more democracy. There’s no question about that. The question is who He will provide it.”

There has been a lot of debate in this country about who should be the opposition candidate. In a sense, the opposition put forward … a slightly risky name, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, because he was older and not the highest voted, compared to the mayors of Ankara and Istanbul. But he positioned himself as a unifier, the kind of figure who could be a candidate in the transitional phase.”

Aydintasbas added that voter turnout was high, and results are likely to continue to change over the next few hours.

Jan Seljuki, managing director of Istanbul Economic Research, an opinion polling company, described the elections as a referendum on Erdogan and on change.

“Democracy has been reduced to the ballot box. This is the only place where the population can show their preference in one way or another, so, since that is the case, they go out and vote,” said Selçuki, adding that voters are tired of underwhelming inflation numbers and mismanagement.

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