Erdogan emerges victorious in Turkey’s dual elections
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emerged victorious on Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections, giving him stronger executive powers, extending his grip on the nation of 81 million at least until 2023.
Erdogan took home 52.5 percent of the vote in the presidential race, with more than 99 percent of votes counted. His AK Party received 42.5 percent of the popular vote in the parliamentary election, and it was empowered by its nationalist allies who stand at 11.1 percent of the vote.
Erdogan promised he would not “retreat in transforming Turkey,” a deeply polarized nation, a NATO member, and a candidate to join the European Union.
The Turkish President, 64, along with his AK Party on Sunday declared victory in the presidential and parliamentary elections, overcoming the opposition parties which banded together ahead of the election to challenge Erdogan and his ruling party.
The Turkish opposition bloc late Sunday stated that it was too early to admit defeat. Muharrem Ince, the candidate for the main opposition party and combative former teacher, received almost 31 percent of the vote.
Early results from Turkey’s much-anticipated snap election show the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) won over 11 percent (11.4) of the vote, surpassing the 10 percent threshold required for a party to enter Parliament.
Demirtas, who has been forced to campaign behind prison bars since his arrest over 20 months ago, received 8.3 percent of votes in the presidential election race, behind leading the opposition’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate, Muharrem Ince, and Erdogan.
Over 56 million people were registered to vote at 180,000 ballot boxes across the country. Voting began at 8:00 a.m. local time (05:00 GMT) and polls closed at 5:00 p.m. (14:00 GMT).
It is the first time the presidential and parliamentary elections were held simultaneously, with both the presidential and parliamentary ballots placed in a single envelope.
“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 said on Sunday.
“There is no stopping for us until we bring Turkey, which we saved from plotters, coupists, and political and economic hitmen, street gangs and terrorist organizations, to stand among the top 10 economies in the world.”
Despite years of strong economic growth, Erdogan has also launched a widespread crackdown against his opponents which saw some 160,000 people jailed and news outlets shut down.
Editing by Nadia Riva