Turkey's Erdogan fetes poll triumph, opposition concedes defeat

Ince with his mother Zekiye at the rally

Image Ince with his mother Zekiye at the rally

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan won sweeping new executive powers after his victory in landmark elections that saw his Islamist-rooted AK Party and its nationalist allies secure a majority in parliament.

Sadi Guven said the president "received the absolute majority of all valid votes", BBC reported.

"I accept these election results", said Muharrem Ince of the Republican People's Party (CHP), adding that Erdogan should "represent 80 million" and telling him: "You are the president for us all". "So I think Turkish people should be respected for their determination to respect their democracy and their freedoms and their dignity in fact, because it is a political and social process that strips a nation of its dignity so I think people in Turkey, those who are not supporting Erdogan, need to be recognised for this awesome effort of theirs to protect the country and democracy".

"It is out of the question for us to turn back from where we've brought our country in terms of democracy and the economy", Erdogan told jubilant, flag-waving supporters on Sunday night.

"The restrictions we have seen on fundamental freedoms (due to the state of emergency) have had an impact on these elections", Ignacio Sanchez Amor, head of the OSCE observer mission, told a news conference.

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".

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Some critics argue that Turkey's new system lacks the checks and balances of other executive presidencies like France or the US. The results mark "the last step towards Turkey's transformation into a one-man regime", political-risk analyst Wolfango Piccoli said.

This means his party is short of a parliamentary majority and will need to negotiate deals with allies in order to control the 600-seat house.

People wave flags outside the Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters in Istanbul on June 24, 2018, during the Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections.

Lifting it could end many people's detentions, including Selahattin Demirtaş, the presidential candidate from HDP who ran his campaign from behind bars, as well as many academics, journalists, and university students being held on spurious terrorism charges.

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Under constitutional amendments approved after a controversial 2017 referendum, Turkey is making a transition from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.

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

The paper also alleges that on election day, "there were reported cases of fraud, including ballot stuffing, [such as] an incident where a auto filled with ballots was pulled over heading to a polling station near the southern city of Urfa".

Voter turnout in the presidential race was 84.3 percent, out of more than 53 million voters, and for the parliamentary elections the turnout was 86.22 percent; the two elections which were held on the same day. The new presidency means that he will have nearly no checks and balances imposed on him, though he will remain dependent on his collaboration with the MHP in parliament.

Official voting results will be announced on July 5.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a second term, following a fiercely fought election campaign.

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

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Relations between Turkey and the European Union have deteriorated in recent years amid Ankara's push to join the EU. But the pro-opposition BirGun took a different line: "An unfair election", it said, adding that the way results had been delivered had given rise to "doubts". Erdogan will most likely try to capitalize on his new mandate and seek to extract concessions from the United States in Syria and prevent military sanctions from brewing in the U.S. Congress. They will continue to "liberate Syrian lands", he said, so that the 3.5 million refugees now living in the country can one day go home.

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