One day before the elections in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he would accept the result of the vote even in the event of defeat. "In Turkey, we come to power by democratic means," he said on Friday evening in Istanbul. If the nation decides against him on Sunday, he will do "what democracy requires."

However, he assumes that he will be elected for another term and that his alliance will also win a majority in parliament with its 600 deputies, Erdogan said. The alliance of Erdogan's Islamic-conservative AKP, the ultra-nationalist MHP and smaller right-wing and Islamist parties will "respect any result from the ballot box," he added.

Elections will be held in Turkey on Sunday. Opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu is ahead in most polls, and a neck-and-neck race is emerging. Observers fear that Erdogan could try to challenge the result if the election is close. In 2019, for example, his party had the result of the Istanbul mayoral election annulled after an opposition victory.

Erdogan has been president since 2014 and has had more power than ever since the introduction of a presidential system in 2018. He can govern largely bypassing parliament. Critics fear that the country, which has a population of around 85 million, could slide completely into autocracy if Erdogan wins again. The opposition wants to return to the parliamentary system.