Posted by News Express | 25 June 2018 | 868 times
Turkey's long-standing leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a new five-year term after securing outright victory in the first round of a presidential poll.
Mr Erdogan got nearly 53% with almost all votes counted. His closest rival Muharrem Ince was on 31%.
He will now assume sweeping new powers, won in a controversial referendum last year. The post of PM will be abolished.
The opposition is yet to officially concede but said it would continue its democratic fight "whatever the result".
It had earlier cast doubt on results being broadcast by state media. Final results will be announced on Friday.
The polls were the most fiercely fought in many years.
Mr Erdogan has presided over a strong economy and built up a solid support base by investing in healthcare, education and infrastructure.
But the 64-year-old has also polarised opinion, cracking down on opponents and putting some 160,000 people in jail.
Mr Erdogan gave a triumphant victory speech from the balcony of his party's headquarters in the capital Ankara at 03:00 (00:00 GMT), declaring: "The winner of this election is each and every individual among my 81 million citizens."
Congratulations have come in from Islamic leaders including Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Russian President Vladimir Putin talked of Mr Erdogan's "great political authority and mass support". (BBC)
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