Erdoğan declares victory in Turkish presidential vote

Erdoğan declares victory in Turkish presidential vote

Turkey remains under a state of emergency imposed in the aftermath of a failed coup in July 2016.

More than 59 million Turkish citizens, including three million living overseas, were eligible to vote.

The election ushers in a new era in Turkey, marking the end of a century-old parliamentary democracy and the transition to an executive presidential system, bestowing on Erdogan huge new powers he has long coveted.

As he cast his vote, Erdogan said the changes marked a "democratic revolution", although his opponents regard the most recent phase of his rule differently.

Erdogan's victory paves the way for another five-year term.

At his own rally, President Erdogan - who was prime minister for 11 years before becoming president in 2014 - used a violent metaphor to summarise his hoped-for result, asking supporters, "Are we going to give them an Ottoman slap [a technique for knocking someone out] tomorrow?"

There are already signs of defections, Sencar said, noting that some of them had voted against Erdogan in last year's referendum to expand the powers of the presidency, which passed only narrowly. It reached 4.587 lira to the dollar at 12:17 a.m. (2117 GMT) before easing slightly.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has been returned as president of Turkey, according to unofficial results.

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Its spokesman Bulent Tezcan said Anadolu was publishing a count of over 90 percent of votes while in fact short of 40 percent had been counted. "With Erdogan, we stand stronger against the West".

He also declared victory for the People's Alliance, an electoral cooperation between his ruling Justice and Development Party and the small Nationalist Movement Party, saying they had a "parliamentary majority" in the 600-member assembly.

All three major opposition parties accused Anadolu Agency of manipulating the results and releasing them selectively, a claim dismissed by the government. The opposition nationalist Iyi (Good) party received 10 percent.

Election turnout nationwide was very high at around 87 percent for both contests, the state broadcaster said.

The stakes in this election are particularly high as the new president is the first to enjoy enhanced powers under a new constitution agreed in an April 2017 referendum strongly backed by Erdogan. If the HDP manages to get into parliament, it could reduce the number of seats Erdogan's alliance will hold, threatening his parliamentary majority.

Erdogan has declared himself an "enemy of interest rates", raising fears he will pressure the central bank to cut borrowing costs after the election despite double-digit inflation. The president's prime challenger, Muharrem Ince, who had warned his supporters of possible fraud, had not conceded as of early Monday morning in Turkey.

Voters in Turkey go to the polls today as the country has its presidential and parliamentary elections at the same time, which is unprecedented in history. This state restricts some freedoms and allows the government to bypass parliament with decrees. "This is going to be a united Turkey".

But critics say he has become increasingly intolerant of dissent and opposition.

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