Erdogan makes history, wins Turkey’s presidential election runoff

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been declared winner by the election commission in the Turkish presidential election defeating rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu, after coming just short of an outright victory in the first round of voting on 14 May.

Erdogan who addressed his supporters on Sunday evening in Istanbul said, “I would like to thank each and every member of our nation who gave us the responsibility of governing the country for the next 5 years with the choice they made.”

Monday marks the 570th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire capturing Istanbul, then Constantinople.

Referring to this event, Erdogan says: “That was a turning point in history, closed a century and opened a new one.”

“I hope these elections will be such a turning point in history.”

Erdogan was running against Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of a six-party opposition alliance.

Kilicdaroglu said, “I have a request from all of you, please keep the struggle for democracy alive for yourself, for your children, for the retirees, for our mothers and fathers, for our farmers and tradesmen.”

The government-affiliated Anadolu news agency reported Erdogan got 52.16 percent of the vote, while his opposition rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu received 47.84 percent with 99.85 percent of ballots counted.

Throughout the election campaign, Erdogan touted himself as the best choice for stability, highlighting his track record of 20 years as either prime minister or president.

He is also taking credit for a deal that he helped broker for Ukrainian farm products to be exported through the Black Sea.

However, his administration has been criticized for rising prices and delays in its initial response to the earthquakes in February.

Inflation which surged to above 85% last year, hitting Erdogan’s popularity hard, was a subject he addressed in his talk with his supporters. “Now that the elections are over, we will allocate all our time and energy to work”.

“Overcoming the problems arising from inflation is one of our priorities,” he continued. “As the interest rate has come down, inflation will also come down.”

 

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