Speaking to reporters in capital Ankara on June 23, Devlet Bahceli said the alliance of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the MHP had won the election with “honor” and left those expecting a crisis “bewildered”.
Erdogan, who defends his tough measures as essential for national security, told his supporters at rallies Saturday that if re-elected he would press ahead with more of the big infrastructure projects that have helped turn Turkey into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies during his time in office. Opposition candidates vowed to return Turkey to a parliamentary democracy with strong checks and balances and have decried what they call Erdogan’s “one-man rule”. The state-run broadcaster gave Erdogan a total of 181 hours of airtime, Ince 15 hours and Meral Aksener, a right-wing politician who hoped to become Turkey’s first female president, three hours, according to a member of the broadcasting watchdog.
The head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, congratulated the Turkish nation for the successful election, saying that a high voter turnout marked the polls.
Muharrem Ince, the candidate of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party, center, speaks to the media outside High Electoral Board in Ankara, Turkey, June 24, 2018.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also congratulated Erdogan on his “great success” in the presidential election, according to a statement by the Azerbaijani presidency.
The lira has fallen more than 18% this year against the USA dollar as investors watched Erdogan attack the central bank’s independence, suggesting that high interest rates stoke, rather than tame, inflation.
Turkey’s national electoral board has declared Erdogan the victor of the country’s presidential election with an absolute majority of valid votes.
Parliament has been weakened and the post of prime minister abolished, as measures approved in a controversial referendum previous year take effect.
The Turkish leader is accused by critics of adopting increasingly authoritarian tactics but is loved by supporters for bringing prosperity and stability. This election formalizes a role that Erdogan had already reshaped as Turkey’s most powerful, even though his post was technically ceremonial, since he was first elected in 2014.
Because access to the media was tightly controlled, the opposition had an incredibly hard time reaching out to the electorate.
Erdogan’s AKP fell short of winning a parliamentary majority but a better-than-expected performance by its nationalist ally should allow the party to control the 600-seat legislature.
The CHP said it had recorded violations in particular in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa.
Police fired warning shots to stop a speeding vehicle in Suruc, where they found four bags full of stamped ballot papers, according to the Dogan News Agency.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was monitoring the elections with over 350 observers.
Erdoğan, too, cast his vote in Üsküdar on Sunday.
The party, which has always been deeply hostile to Kurdish aspirations, even managed to come ahead of the CHP in most Kurdish-majority regions, despite the latter’s active attempt to court the Kurdish vote.
The president has for the last two years ruled under a state of emergency imposed in the wake of the 2016 failed coup, with tens of thousands arrested in an unprecedented crackdown which cranked up tensions with the West. Around 160,000 people have been detained, and thousands of public servants and soldiers have been fired.
But he said that there was no significant difference between official results and his party’s figures, and therefore he would accept the outcome.