Erdogan leads in Turkey’s presidential election - preliminary results

GETTYFans out in support of President Erdogan

GETTYFans out in support of President Erdogan

Regardless, Erdogan proudly addressed supporters from his Justice and Development Party's (AKP) headquarters in the capital Ankara early Monday morning, telling them: "The victor of this election is each and every individual among my 81 million citizens", and lauding the "lessons in democracy" Turkey had given to the rest of the world.

Erdogan won more than half of the votes in Sunday's snap presidential election after 97.2% of ballots had been counted, the head of Turkey's High Electoral Board (YSK) announced.

Speaking early Monday, Supreme Election Council head Sadi Guven said 97.7 percent of votes had been counted and declared Erdogan the victor, according to the Associated Press.

His party bitterly complained over the publication of the election results, accusing the state-run news agency Anadolu of publishing results favorable to Erdogan early on to give the impression of an easy victory.

But he reckoned without Muharrem Ince, the presidential candidate of the secularist Republican People's Party (CHP), whose feisty performance at campaign rallies has galvanized Turkey's long-demoralized and divided opposition.

"I accept the election results", İnce said at a press conference at his party's headquarters, adding that despite some votes being stolen, the overall result was not in question.

The post of the prime minister will be abolished, and its powers transferred to Erdogan, who will also have the ability to appoint senior judges, ministers and vice presidents, giving him full control of those who are supposed to check his authority.

The CHP's presidential candidate Ince also accused election reports from the Anadolu Agency of "manipulation".

"We will do more for the nation". 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".

In the parliamentary contest, the AK Party had 45 percent and its MHP ally almost 12 percent, based on 61 percent of votes counted, broadcasters said.

The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party, or HDP, was edging past the 10 percent threshold to enter parliament, with 10.15 percent.

Putin sent Erdogan a telegram to congratulate him on the victory, the Kremlin said in a statement Monday.

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"The nation has entrusted to me the responsibility of the presidency and the executive duty", the 64-year-old Erdogan said in televised remarks from Istanbul.

The CHP said it had recorded violations in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa. Then, last year, Erdogan held a referendum on making constitutional changes that would significantly expand executive powers over parliament and the judiciary.

Ince called on Erdogan to "be everyone's president, embrace everyone".

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

The president told crowds in Ankara in the early hours of Monday morning: "This election's victor is democracy, this election's victory is national will".

Sunday's elections were supposed to be held in 2019, but Erdogan moved them forward by more than a year.

Recep Erdogan has been the country's de facto leader since 2002, holding the position of president since 2014.

"With these elections, Turkey is achieving a virtual democratic revolution", Erdogan told reporters after voting in Istanbul.

Under Erdogan, the government has presided over a far-reaching crackdown on dissidents, activists and the media, jailing journalists and opposition leaders, and shuttering independent news outlets.

The president's critics, including the European Union which Turkey still nominally aspires to join, say Erdogan has used the crackdown to stifle dissent.

Turkey's Western allies and rights groups have repeatedly condemned the government's detentions and purges amid a state of emergency that has been in place since a failed deadly coup in 2016.

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