Reccip Tayyip Erdogan won the presidential election with an absolute majority on Sunday. Results declared on Turkish television revealed his ruling party and its alliance partner had bagged majority seats in the parliament.
Citing they would ‘continue their democratic struggle whatever the result’, the main opposition party, Republican People’s Party (CHP), did not concede at once and went on to initially say that Tayyip would ‘fall well short of a first round victory’.
“Starting tomorrow, we will start working to realize the promises we made our people,” Erdogan said in his victory speech which was delivered from AK party headquarters’ balcony at 3 am. His victory means that his term will stretch onto 2023.
He also gave a pledge that his authorities would be more stringent towards terrorist organizations and added that his government would ‘continue to liberate Syrian lands’ so that the 3.5 million refugees from Syria in Turkey would return home.
“This sets the stage for speeding up reforms,” Turkish Deputy PM, Mehmet Simsek tweeted after the results.
Critics have said that the victory, long sought by Erdogan and his alliance, the nationalist MHP, will further push the country into a ‘one-man rule’ and erode democracy.
Concerns by the opposition party’s presidential rival to Erdogan, Muharrem Ince towards possible election fraud made them doubt about the authenticity and credibility of the sole distributor of the official vote tally, Anadolu news agency. However, soon after, an opposition platform with its own vote tally confirmed Anadolu’s tally, bringing fears of the fairness of the elections to rest.