June 25, 2018
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the majority of votes in Sunday's high-stakes election, according to election officials -- surviving the most serious challenge yet to his political dominance and tightening his grip on the nation he has ruled for 15 years.

Sadi Guven, Turkey's Supreme Election Board chief, said 97.7% of the votes were counted and "the votes that have not been tallied so far do not change the outcome."
Erdogan had declared himself the winner before the official results were announced, speaking to supporters first in Istanbul, the country's biggest city, before flying to Ankara, the capital, to address voters from his party's headquarters.
Erodgan declares victory in Turkey presidential election
Speaking from a balcony at the AK Party's offices in the early hours of Monday morning, he called the entire population of Turkey "winners."
"The winners of the June 24 elections are Turkey, the Turkish nation, sufferers of our region and all oppressed (people) in the world," he said, according to state media reports.
"Turkey has decided to take the side of growth, development, investment, enrichment and a reputable, honorable and influential country in all areas in the world," Erdogan said.
He also thanked the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) leader, members and voters, who are in coalition with his Justice and Development Party.
Erodgan declares victory in Turkey presidential election
The results were a blow to Erdogan's closest rival, Muharrem Ince and his Republican People's Party, known as the CHP, who had seemed on the verge of forcing the President into a damaging runoff and denying the AKP-MHP alliance a parliamentary majority.
With his victory, Erdogan will gain sweeping new powers when he resumes office. He narrowly won a referendum last year to transform the country's parliamentary system to a powerful executive presidency, in what his critics called a blatant power grab.
State media Anadolu also reported that AK and MHP's People's Alliance coalition had won a majority of parliamentary seats.
"Our nation has given me the mandate for the presidency," Erdogan said in his earlier victory speech in Istanbul, noting his declaration was based on unofficial results.
"I would like to congratulate our nation once again. This has been another test of democracy and we have passed this test successfully."

Cheering supporters
After a day in which millions cast their votes, throngs of Erodogan supporters waited until the early hours of Monday morning to hear Erdogan speak. In the largest city, Istanbul, cars in the street and boats on the Bosporus honked their horns and fireworks lit up the sky.
Around 59 million people were eligible to vote in both presidential and parliamentary elections Sunday. Erdogan said the participation rate was 90%, an extraordinarily high number for any election.
Erodgan declares victory in Turkey presidential election
Earlier, state news agency Anadolu reported that the President had sailed through the snap vote at 52.7%, with more than 96% of the ballots counted. It also said the AKP-MHP coalition had more than 53% of the parliamentary vote, with over 98% of the votes counted.
But the opposition CHP had said that around half the ballot boxes had not yet been counted, and called on party monitors to stay by the ballot boxes and keep watching.
Erodgan declares victory in Turkey presidential election
A spokesman for Erodgan's AKP, Mahir Unal, dismissed the accusations and warned party leaders of "harsh outcomes" to any provocations.
Opposition parties will have five days after the vote to lodge any complaints or challenges.
Erodgan declares victory in Turkey presidential election
Erdogan has dominated Turkish politics since his rise as prime minister in 2003 and has transformed the nation. He implemented policies that encouraged sustained economic growth and development, he challenged Turkey's secular foundations by bringing Islamic conservatism to public life and he gutted public institutions by having tens of thousands of people -- many of them his critics -- arrested after a failed military coup in 2016.
Erodgan declares victory in Turkey presidential election
Erdogan himself called the snap elections 18 months early, as he faces battles on several fronts: Turkish voters are feeling the pain of soaring inflation, a plunging currency and high interest rates as the economy falters, and the normally splintered opposition is largely united against him for the first time in years.
By offering a wider than usual range of presidential candidates, the opposition had hoped to split the vote enough ways to leave the front-runner with less than 50% of the ballots.
Erdogan has won several consecutive elections to become Turkey's longest-serving leader, but a strong campaign by Ince triggered speculation the President might fail to win outright.
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