Erdogan confirmed victor of Turkey election that brings sweeping new powers

Jermaine Castillo
June 26, 2018

Asked whether Turkey would become more democratic with Erdogan bolstering his powers Wallstrom said: "I unfortunately do not have any great hopes but we have to give them a chance".

The presidential and parliamentary elections will complete Turkey's transition from a parliamentary system to a new executive presidential one, a move approved in a referendum past year.

To achieve an outright win and avoid a second round, Erdogan needs to secure more than 50 percent of the vote.

The opposition raised doubts about the accuracy and reliability of the figures released by state-run Anadolu news agency, the sole distributor of the official vote tally.

Demirtas, who won 8.4 per cent in the presidential race, has been in pre-trial detention since November 2016 on terror-related charges.

Supporters of the left-wing pro-Kurdish Peoples Democracy Party (HDP) also celebrated on Sunday as their party managed to pass the 10 percent threshold required to enter the parliament. Turkey will hold local elections in March 2019, which presents an opportunity for the opposition to reconstitute itself. They have said election law changes and fraud allegations in the 2017 referendum raise fears about the fairness of Sunday's elections.

He added that he believes Mr Erdogan "has everything in his hands", including the power to end a state of emergency, release detainees and "get on another track with Europe".

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's main challenger in Sunday's elections, Muharrem İnce, has conceded defeat, urging the re-elected Turkish president to embrace all the country's 81 million citizens, and vowing to continue the fight against one-man rule in opposition.

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He remains popular in the conservative and pious heartland, having empowered previously disenfranchised groups.

While known overseas as an Islamic politician, Erdogan has in recent years increasingly taken on the clothes of a nationalist, spearheading operations against Kurdish militants and inside Syria.

But Ince, who had faced limited airtime on television in the campaign, said the run-up to the election had been unfair.

Erdogan's MHP allies take a hard line on the Kurdish issue, making it less likely that he will soften his approach to security issues in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey and neighboring Syria and Iraq, where Turkish forces are battling Kurdish militants. He said turnout appeared to be high and that "no serious incidents" had occurred.

Mr Erdogan was prime minister for 11 years before becoming president in 2014.

'In Turkey people think it is ridiculous that people in the Netherlands have a vote, ' he said. Erdogan called the election more than a year early in what analysts say was a pre-emptive move ahead of a possible economic downturn. Religiously observant Muslims form the bedrock of Erdogan's support.

The CHP said it had recorded violations in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa.

Videos allegedly showing voting irregularities and uncounted ballots circulated on social media Sunday, but the images could not be verified.

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Mr Amor added that the mission's special coordinator, said the observers "profoundly regret" that two observers were denied entry into Turkey over alleged bias against the country.

Peter Osusky, head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation, told The Associated Press all observers "are strongly adhering to so-called code of conduct" regardless of their political opinions.

The figures could yet change as final ballot boxes are opened.

A man casts his ballot at a polling station in Ankara, Turkey, on June 24, 2018.

Following the failed coup, Turkey has been under a state of emergency for almost two years and has seen a widespread crackdown on alleged supporters of Gulen.

Putin sent Erdogan a telegram to congratulate him on the victory, the Kremlin said in a statement Monday.

Women dance under election banners of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, in the mainly-Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.

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