Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won another five years as the President of Turkey in a run-off against his main challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu. The first round that took place on 14 May saw Erdogan winning just shy of an outright majority, forcing a second round vote yesterday (28 May).
According to the state-run Anadolu Agency, incumbent Erdogan won 52% of the vote while Kilicdaroglu won 48% of the vote. Erdogan's victory means that, assuming he sees out his coming five-year term as the Turkish President, he will have been either Prime Minister or President of Turkey for 25 years.
Speaking to a victory rally in the Turkish capital, Ankara, President Erdogan said "today nobody has lost. 85 million have won as a whole. As required by the responsibility that our nation gave us, we are not upset, sad, resented or raged against anybody."
"Now it is time to leave all the discussions and debates from the election campaigning process. And to unite and get together around our national goals and dreams," he said.
Meanwhile, responding to Erdogan's victory, defeated challenger Kilicdaroglu complained about what he called the "most unfair election in recent years".
"All the means of the state were mobilised for a political party. All possibilities were laid at one man's feet," he claimed.
"In this election, the will of the people to change an authoritarian regime emerged despite all the pressures [...] We will continue to be at the forefront of this struggle until real democracy comes to our country," he said.
Erdogan's Turkey faces huge challenges. A catastrophic earthquake that hit southern Turkey and Syria on 6 February killed over 50,000 people, with alleged widespread corruption having seriously undermined the quality of many large tower blocks that collapsed in the quake. This is on top of a persistent economic crisis that saw the national currency, the lira, lose 30% of its value against the dollar in 2022, on top of the 44% lost against the dollar the year before.
A number of international leaders have already congratulated President Erdogan on his victory.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated Erdogan on Twitter, saying that Ukraine counts "on the further strengthening of the strategic partnership for the benefit of our countries, as well as the strengthening of cooperation for the security and stability of Europe".
US President Joe Biden said that he looks forward "to continuing to work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges", while the Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, tweeted "our common security is a future priority" in an apparent reference to Sweden's NATO application that Turkey, along with Hungary, has thus far held up.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tweeted that he was "looking forward to continuing working together towards full normalisation of relations between our countries".
source: commonspace.eu with agencies, Twitter