ANKARA, Turkey — Preliminary, unofficial results from Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency show incumbent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead with 49% of ballot boxes counted, while a competing news agency gave a slight lead to the opposition candidate.
Anadolu showed Erdogan at 56%, and his challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, at 44%.
Meanwhile, the ANKA news agency, close to the opposition, shows the results at 51% for Kilicdaroglu and Erdogan at 49%, with 52% of ballot boxes counted.
The news agencies get their data from completed ballot box counts that are gathered by personnel on the field, and are strong in different regions, explaining some of the variation in preliminary data.
Anadolu’s numbers were disputed in the May 14 first round election by opposition politicians, who said the news agency was biased in favor of Erdogan. Anadolu rejected the accusation and the final results did not reveal a discrepancy. Erdogan came out more than 4% ahead of Kilicdaroglu, but just short of outright victory, leading to the second round Sunday.
Turkey’s electoral board sends its own data to political parties throughout the vote count but doesn’t declare official results until days later.