Unofficial results published by the state news agency showed the 64-year-old leader winning more than 50% of the vote – enough to avoid a runoff.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also congratulated Erdogan on his “great success” in the presidential election, according to a statement by the Azerbaijani presidency. Religiously observant Muslims form the bedrock of Erdogan’s support.
“We elected Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the first executive president of Turkey”.
Mr Erdogan argues the new powers will better enable him to tackle the nation’s economic problems – the lira has lost 20 per cent against the United States dollar this year – and deal with Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey and in neighbouring Iraq and Syria.
“Things will get better from now on”. Turkey, they said, was languishing in economic doldrums before the AKP swept to power. In Sunday’s parliamentary contest, the Islamist-rooted AK Party won 43 per cent and its MHP ally 11 per cent, based on 98 per cent of votes counted, broadcasters said.
Ince of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), who had challenged Erdogan with an energetic campaign and earlier accused the authorities of “manipulation”, maintained an unusual silence after the results were announced before conceding defeat later Monday.
“I hope nobody will damage democracy by casting a shadow on this election and its results to hide their failure”, he continued.
“I accept the results of the election”, he told reporters.
Tens of thousands of Turkish citizens are responding to calls from the opposition to monitor the polls for a clean election and a delegation of observers from the OSCE will also be in place. The results pegged turnout at a remarkable 87 percent.
POLLS have opened in Turkey’s joint presidential and parliamentary elections, seen as the biggest test at the ballot box for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of his 15 years in power.
Under the new system, Erdogan himself will appoint ministers, vice-presidents and high-level bureaucrats, issue decrees, prepare the budget and decide on security policies. Few newspapers or other media openly criticize the government, and he has received far more election coverage than other presidential candidates.
Mr Erdogan, who has been in power since 2003, is seeking a new five-year term with vastly increased powers under a new system and his ruling party is hoping to retain its majority in parliament.
Opposition parties are running together for the parliamentary vote as the National Alliance, although without Kurdish parties.
Andalou said the party had won 42 percent of votes with 99 percent counted, projecting a total of 293 seats.
There was good news for the HDP which easily broke through the 10% minimum vote threshold to pick up 67 seats, sparking wild celebrations in its Kurdish-majority stronghold of Diyarbakir.
“Turkey made its choice in favour of a more determined fight against the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and (Gulenists)”, Erdogan said.
“This makes the MHP an important party for the AK Party and Erdogan”, added Akyol.
Erdogan entered the race in the face of a depreciating lira and straining relations with the West amid an ongoing state of emergency.
Erdogan has at times seemed on the back foot, making promises to lift the state of emergency imposed after the coup bid and ensuring the 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey go home only after similar pledges by Ince.
But critics claim that the coup attempt also been used to silence dissident voices in the country, as many acedemics, opposition politicians and journalists have also beeen detained in its aftermath.
Local and global rights groups accuse the government of using the coup bid as a pretext to silence opposition in the country.