The counting for the Turkish presidential elections has begun. The expectation is great, and not only in the country of the half moon but also internationally given its position as a hinge between Asia and Europe. A transit country for migratory flows (according to official data, Turkey hosts 3,447,837 Syrian refugees in March 2023) that have become a bargaining tool between Ankara and the European Union.

Regardless of the election outcome, migration is likely to remain a thorny issue for years to come. In its election campaign, the opposition bloc outlined a four-step solution to Turkey's migrant crisis. First, he wants to try to make peace with his neighbors and "sit at the table" with the Syrian government.

Migration and border control will also remain central to EU-Turkey relations. In 2016, the EU-Turkey refugee agreement was reached, which aimed to stop the influx by sending migrants caught entering Greece irregularly back to Turkey. For every Syrian returned, another would be placed in the European Union. In return, Brussels promised to give Ankara 6 billion euros to help welcome Syrians, in addition to visa liberalization for Turkish citizens.

But migration will not be the main problem that whoever wins must face: inflation and the economic crisis and the devastation of the earthquake are the emergencies of a country where young people above all are projected towards a world no longer anchored to archaic and conservative stereotypes. A country that celebrates, in 2023, the centenary of the birth of the Turkish Republic.

Turnout in Turkey's presidential election was close to 90%, standing at 88.29%. This was reported by the Turkish television station TRT (the Turkish state broadcasting company.) The turnout in the parliamentary elections was slightly lower, where 85.26% of those entitled to vote voted.

The data begins to be published after the country's Supreme Election Office announced that it had lifted the ban on the publication of election results, which was supposed to remain in force until 20:00 Italian time.

"I would like to appeal to our heroes of democracy: do not leave the polling stations for any reason until the last signed ballot report has been delivered. The full and correct manifestation of the nation's will depends on your determination. You'll see, it's worth it to get tired." This was written in a tweet by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and main challenger to the post of president of Turkey of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"We believe that tonight Kemal Kilicdaroglu will be declared the 13th president of Turkey." This is how the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, who will be appointed vice president in case of victory of the opposition candidate

And in this election campaign social media have played an important role, and the relative tightening that the government has imposed (as also reported by Humans Rights Watch). In this scenario is placed Twitter that has always played a role of primary importance when it came to ensuring a platform for voices against regimes in authoritarian countries. But the new line wanted by Elon Musk is decidedly different: in recent days the social network has announced that it has obscured some content in Turkey, shortly before the elections, at the express request of Erdogan's government. Twitter and Musk were then accused of having accepted the government censorship with which the prime minister in office for twenty years wants to limit the visibility and voice of the opposition. Matthew Yglesias, a columnist for Bloomberg, reported the news with a tweet, to which he was answered by the CEO himself. "Have you lost your mind, Yglesias?" tweets Musk. "The choice was between shutting down Twitter completely or restricting access to certain tweets. What would you have done?" A completely different reaction to Erdogan's requests compared to the previous administration, which in the past had come to loggerheads with the Turkish government precisely to defend freedom of expression, for example when the government had asked to block the feeds of some newspapers in the country that were disliked by him.

Meanwhile, yesterday the Italian freelancer, Emanuele Irace, landed in Istanbul was held for 5 hours in a security cell and then expelled.