What can we expect from Turkey's election runoff?

STORY: Turkey votes again on Sunday (May 28), in a presidential election runoff, seen as one of the most impactful political moments since the modern state was founded 100 years ago.

The opposition sees this vote as its best chance yet of ending President Tayyip Erdogan’s extensive rule.

However, having rallied voters through a mix of religious conservatism and nationalism it seems Erdogan may clinch a victory over challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu, defying analysts’ initial predictions.

A win, which analysts now fully expect, would mark his third decade of power with AK Party, extending his tenure as the longest ruling leader of modern Turkey.

Erdogan got 49.5% support in the first voting round on May 14 - and Kilicdaroglu, the candidate of a six-party opposition alliance, got 44.9%.

It meant Erdogan fell just short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff in a vote seen as a referendum on his autocratic rule.

The election results will decide how the NATO-member country is governed, where its economy is headed amid a deep cost of living crisis, and the shape of its foreign policy - including its approach to Syrian refugees.

Should he win, concerns have been raised that Erdogan would shape the state to fit his pious vision - all while consolidating power in his hands.

Erdogan's critics say his government has muzzled dissent, eroded rights and brought the judicial system under its sway; a charge denied by officials.

Kilicdaroglu has offered voters an inclusive platform and promised a democratic reset, including a return to a parliamentary system of government and independence for a judiciary.

However his rhetoric from May 14 has taken a hawkish turn; in a bid to win nationalist votes, he has vowed to send back millions of refugees to Syria.

To tap into nationalist votes himself, Erdogan seized on Kurdish support for Kilicdaroglu to accuse his rival of siding with terrorism.

As for Turkey’s economy, experts say it was Erdogan's unorthodox policy of low interest rates despite surging prices that drove inflation to 85% last year.

Kilicdaroglu has pledged a return to a more traditional economic policy and to restore the independence of the Turkish central bank.

The importance of this vote seems to be fiercely recognized in the country, with more than six million citizens voting for the first time in the first round on May 14.