Turkey's Erdogan renews hold on power with election victory

Turkey's Erdogan renews hold on power with election victory

Turkey's Erdogan renews hold on power with election victory

A night of triumph for Erdogan saw the man who has dominated Turkey for the last 15 years declared victor of Sunday's presidential poll without needing a second round and take his ruling party-led alliance to an overall majority in parliament. Ince, of the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), was on 31.5 per cent. Erdogan's Islamic-rooted ruling party first came to power in 2002 after years of secular domination.

Many critics say this year's military operation in Afrin, Syria, was primarily created to boost both Mr Erdogan's reputation and nationalist sentiment prior to the elections; however, in his victory speech to supporters from the ruling party's headquarters in Ankara he said that Turkey would now act more decisively against terrorist organisations.

The new period after the election results is therefore expected to be more Turkey-centered and nationalistic, with a more favorable ground for Russian Federation to pull Ankara on its side against its transatlantic alliances with the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, especially at a time when Turkey wants to buy F-35 jets from the United States and some lawmakers allegedly intend to block the sale.

Erdogan spoke of his commitment to fight terrorist organisations and "to continue the fight to make the Syrian grounds freer" and to better the country's "international reputation".

"Turkey has given a lesson in democracy to the entire world", he added, pointing to a turnout of 88 percent.

Ince expressed alarm over the powers Erdogan assumes under the new government system which he described as "a one-man regime".

British Prime Minister Theresa May also congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his latest election victory on Monday.

Those who oppose President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo enthusiastically welcomed Erdogan's victory, equating the Turkish leader to their presidential candidate, Prabowo Subianto, who, barring no drastic change in the national political landscape, will challenge Jokowi for the second time next year.

The country's longest-serving leader who has won 12 elections over the past 16 years, Erdogan had 53 percent of the votes against his four rivals in the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Although investors have been nervous about Erdogan's tightening grip on power, there had been concern that the outcome of the election could lead to policy uncertainty.

The HDP easily broke through the 10 per cent minimum vote threshold to pick up 67 seats, sparking wild celebrations in its Kurdish-majority stronghold of Diyarbakir.

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The state media treatment of Kim's visit departed from past practice of not announcing his travels until Kim returned home. Close to 7,700 USA troops remain unaccounted for from the Korean War, and about 5,300 of those were lost in North Korea.

The new 18-article constitution comes into force after presidential and parliamentary polls, transforming the parliamentary system into an executive presidency.

Nationalist politician Meral Aksener, tipped for a breakthrough after founding her new Iyi (Good) Party, suffered a disappointing night coming in fourth with 7.3%.

Others congratulating Erdogan included Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Hungary's nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Hamas chief Ismail Haniya.

"Turkey is staging a democratic revolution", Erdogan told reporters in the polling station in Istanbul where he voted on June 24. During his time in office, he has engineered constitutional amendments to give him one of the most powerful presidencies in modern Turkish history.

A sweeping crackdown after a failed coup to unseat Erdogan has alarmed many Western countries, with tens of thousands of people arrested.

"Erdogan and his team will earn experience and will try to correct the system's flaws while implementing it", he said, adding that there will be new decrees and legislations to achieve that.

The opposition candidates had pledged to overturn the new powers, which were narrowly passed by referendum previous year, if they won.

The High Election Board (YSK) said on Monday the elections had been "healthy".

He said: "Mr Erdogan is now an all-powerful man, not just de facto but also formally".

But it was clear before polls opened that the election was being held under unfair conditions, not least given the state of emergency in place since the July 2016 coup attempt, as well as the imprisonment of a presidential candidate on spurious terrorism charges. "And as Turkey's democratic credentials deteriorate further, relations with the European Union will remain strained, even as the two neighbors will continue to need to collaborate on issues like migration and counterterrorism", he told Arab News.

Its spokesman Bulent Tezcan said Anadolu had published a count of over 90 percent of votes while in fact short of 40 percent had been counted.

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