Erdogan Wins, Stays in Power As Turkey's President

28 June, 2018, 01:17 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • AKP voter Murat Gozler says Turkey has transformed for the better under Erdogan

With more than half of ballots counted, Erdogan had 56 percent of the vote to 29 percent for his closest challenger, Muharrem Ince of the secular Republican People's Party, or CHP, according to the official Anadolu news agency.

Trailing were Meral Aksener of the nationalist (Iyi) Good Party with over seven percent and Selahattin Demirtas of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) with nearly eight percent.

"The unofficial results of the elections have become clear".

Erdogan was re-elected as president on Sunday, winning 53 percent of the vote.

The voting marked the first time Turkish voters cast their ballots in simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections, in line with the constitutional changes approved in a referendum past year that will transform the country's parliamentary system to an executive presidential one.

The HDP was polling 11.5 percent, well over the 10 percent minimum threshold needed, to win 67 seats, which would make the party the second-biggest opposition faction in the new chamber.

The HDP's performance was a particular success since presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas, eight more of its legislators and thousands of party members campaigned from jails and prisons.

Government control or influence over Turkey's media meant that most television channels, loyal to the president and his party, devoted far more coverage to their campaigning and speeches than all opposition parties combined.




Erdogan had faced an energetic campaign by Ince, who has rivalled the incumbent's charisma and crowd-pulling on the campaign trail, as well as a strong opposition alliance in the legislative poll.

Erdoğan won the presidency with almost 53 percent of the vote.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed in a phone conversation on Monday their mutual interest in boosting partnership ties between the two countries, the Kremlin press service said.

Ince, an affable physics teacher who has been an MP for 16 years has sought a united front against Erdoğan over the course of the campaign and has pledged to roll back presidential powers, restore the rule of law in Turkey and end the prosecution and imprisonment of dissidents and journalists.

"The winners of the June 24 elections are Turkey, the Turkish nation, the sufferers of our region and all oppressed in the world", he declared. But critics accuse the Turkish strongman, 64, of trampling on civil liberties and displaying autocratic behaviour.

Authorities have regularly carried out such operations against alleged Gulen supporters since the July 2016 coup attempt under a state of emergency that limits certain freedoms and extends the detention time for questioning of suspects. Analysts predict an economic downturn amid rising inflation and a struggling currency.

The high-stakes presidential contest and a parliamentary election also held Sunday were set to either consolidate Erdogan's grip on power or curtail his vast political ambitions. "Turkey's hopes will be revived".

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