Turkey's victorious Erdogan set to assume sweeping powers

Turkey's victorious Erdogan set to assume sweeping powers

Turkey's victorious Erdogan set to assume sweeping powers

Turkish authorities have ordered the detention of 132 people in nationwide operations targeting suspected supporters of a USA -based Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating a failed coup two years ago, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday.

Stay with us throughout Sunday for all of the latest from Turkey's elections, for which Recep Tayyip Erdogan needs more than 50 per cent of the presidential vote to secure re-election outright.

In the parliamentary vote, Erdogan's AK Party and its nationalist ally had 59 percent, to 30 percent for the main opposition coalition and 9.1 percent for the leading Kurdish party, as of 7:45 pm in Istanbul.

Turkey's High Electoral Board declared Erdogan, 64, the victor of Sunday's polls, which usher in a new executive presidential system that was approved in a referendum previous year.

On the parliamentary front, Erdogan's AK Party got 42.4 percent of the votes, while its far-right MHP secured 11.2 percent.

The HDP's performance was a particular success since presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas, eight more of its legislators and thousands of party members campaigned from jails and prisons.

But the main opposition contender, Muharrem Ince, contested the report.

"The opposition parties ran surprisingly strong, energetic and competitive campaigns", Amanda Sloat, an Obama administration official who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told the New York Times.

The president and his allies campaigned on the contrast between today's prosperous Turkey and the political and economic turmoil that preceded Erdogan's rule, pointing to GDP growth rates averaging nearly 6 percent since the AK Party came to power in 2002. "Parliament will be diverse, with the coalition system ensuring the representation of a wide range of parties - including the Kurds".

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Turnout in the presidential election was nearly 88 percent, according to the figures published by Anadolu.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been re-elected with a decisive majority, cementing his hold over the country.

"We elected Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the first executive president of Turkey".

"The winners of the June 24 elections are Turkey, the Turkish nation, the sufferers of our region and all oppressed in the world", he declared.

Erdogan also warned anyone against casting doubt on the results: "I hope nobody will harm our country's democracy by casting a shadow on the election system and its results in order to disguise their failure". But critics accuse the Turkish strongman, 64, of trampling on civil liberties and autocratic behaviour.

Meanwhile, former physics teacher Ince built up a national following with lacerating attacks on Erdogan's rule, bringing up near-taboos like the AKP's past cooperation with the group of Fethullah Gulen blamed for the 2016 failed coup.

Erdogan has also campaigned against the backdrop of increasing economic woes, including high inflation and a currency that has sometimes been in free-fall.

The election victory is set to deliver President Erdogan sweeping new powers.

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