With 97.7% of the votes counted, Sadi Guven, chief of Turkey’s Supreme Election Board, said Erdogan had won an absolute majority, avoiding a runoff against his principal challenger, Muharrem Ince. State media put Erdogan on 52.5%, well ahead of Ince on 31%. “The winners of the June 24 elections are Turkey, the Turkish nation, sufferers of our region and all oppressed (people) in the world,” Erdogan said in a victory address from a balcony at the AKP’s offices in the capital Ankara in the early hours of Monday morning.
“A single person is becoming the head of the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary and this is a concern for a threat to the survival of the country,” he told to media. Under the new system, the office of prime minister is abolished, parliament’s powers curtailed and the president is accorded wide-ranging executive authority. Russia congratulated Erdogan on his re-election, with a government statement saying President Vladimir Putin “stressed that the outcome of the vote fully confirms Erdogan’s great political authority, broad support of the course pursued under his leadership towards solving vital social and economic tasks facing Turkey, and enhancing the country’s foreign policy positions.” Opposition parties will have five days after the vote to lodge any complaints or challenges.