NewsOfficial: Erdogan remains Turkish President

    Official: Erdogan remains Turkish President

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces another five-year term. The electoral authorities declared the 69-year-old the winner of the election. After counting more than 99 percent of the ballot boxes, the incumbent was in the lead with around 52 percent, according to the state news agency Anadolu. His challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu comes to 48 percent.

    Shortly before the end of the counting of votes, head of state Erdogan claimed victory in the runoff election for the presidency. “We will rule the country for the next five years,” he shouted from the roof of a campaign bus in front of cheering supporters in Istanbul.

    Many supporters of President Erdogan gather in front of the Presidential Palace in Ankara

    Cheering Erdogan supporters

    In the early evening in Ankara, motorcades of Erdogan supporters were already filling the streets with waving flags. A large crowd gathered in front of the Presidential Palace. Horn concerts could also be heard in Istanbul.

    Opposition candidate Kilicdaroglu said in Ankara in the evening that he would continue to fight for democracy. “In this election, the will of the people for a change from an authoritarian government was clearly expressed, despite all the repression.” Turkey had “experienced the most unfair election campaign in recent years”.

    According to reports from the two news agencies, participation in the runoff was around 85 percent and thus slightly lower than in the first round. In the election on May 14, around 87 percent of those entitled to vote voted.

    The polling stations closed at 5 p.m. local time (4 p.m. CEST). A total of more than 64 million Turks were entitled to vote. Around three and a half million citizens living abroad were able to vote between May 20th and 24th. It is the first runoff election in the country’s history.

    Better result than expected in surveys

    The Islamic-conservative head of state Recep Tayyip Erdogan had done much better than pollsters had expected in the first round of voting two weeks ago, but with 49.5 percent of the votes just missed the absolute majority required for victory. His Social Democratic challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu got 44.9 percent.

    Before the first round on May 14, opposition leader Kilicdaroglu, who is leading a six-party alliance, had been given good chances of victory. In the run-off election, however, Erdogan was the clear favorite, especially since the third-placed candidate Sinan Ogan made a recommendation for the incumbent.

    Pioneering choice

    Erdogan, 69, has been in power for 20 years. Critics fear that Turkey, with its approximately 85 million inhabitants, could slip completely into autocracy in another Erdogan term. The 74-year-old Kilicdaroglu had promised to democratize the country if he won the election.

    Read Also:   Support grows in the House of Representatives for greater oversight of aid to Ukraine

    Most recently, the issue of migration had dominated the election campaign. Kilicdaroglu in particular pushed for the return of refugees to Syria. Another topic was the poor economic situation with massive inflation.

    Turkiye |  Presidential Election |  Runoff |  Erdogan

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine cast their votes in Istanbul

    Erdogan cast his vote with his wife Emine at a polling station in Istanbul’s Uskudar district. He called for active voter turnout. When casting his vote in Ankara, Kilicdaroglu also appealed to the citizens to go to the polls. He also warned to keep a close eye on the polls even after the polling stations have closed. After all, the presidential election was “held under difficult conditions”. The opposition observers were much more present in the run-off than in the first round.

    Reports of attacks on election observers

    Meanwhile, attacks and incidents are being reported from the runoff. Ali Seker, MP for the main opposition party CHP, told opposition broadcaster Halk TV that he and opposition poll workers were attacked by a group in a village in Turkey’s south-eastern Sanliurfa province after they complained about irregularities. CHP faction leader Özgur Özel had previously written on Twitter that election observers had been beaten and their phones smashed. Özel also criticized that there were not enough security forces on site.

    Halk TV also reported that opposition election officials had been attacked in Istanbul’s Gaziosmanpasa and Umraniye districts. Online media wrote that lawyers were not allowed into the polling stations at a school in Bagcilar district. There were arguments. The information could not be independently verified.

    Internationally, the presidential election in the NATO country is closely observed. The first round was considered fundamentally free, but unfair. International observers criticized the government’s media dominance and the lack of transparency in voting. The electoral authority YSK is also considered politicized.

    Exactly on the Gezi anniversary

    The election falls on a date that is symbolic for the opposition: this Sunday also marks the tenth anniversary of the start of the anti-government Gezi protests. The demonstrations in spring 2013 were initially directed against the development of Istanbul’s central Gezi Park. But they then expanded into nationwide demonstrations against the increasingly authoritarian policies of Erdogan, who was still prime minister at the time. This allowed the largely peaceful protests to be crushed.

    wa/sti/kle/qu (dpa, afp, rtr)

    Source: DW

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    20 − 4 =

    Subscribe & Get Latest News