Erdogan win ushers in new presidential era

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(Istanbul) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emerged victorious in a high-stakes election, seeing off the most serious challenge.

Defeating the twin threats of a reinvigorated opposition and a weakened currency, Erdogan declared himself the winner even before official results were confirmed.

With 97.7% of the votes counted, Sadi Guven, chief of Turkey’s Supreme Election Board, said Erdogan had won an absolute majority, avoiding a runoff against his principal challenger, Muharrem Ince. State media put Erdogan on 52.5%, well ahead of Ince on 31%.

“The winners of the June 24 elections are Turkey, the Turkish nation, sufferers of our region and all oppressed (people) in the world,” Erdogan said in a victory address from a balcony at the AKP’s offices in the capital Ankara.

The results were a blow to Ince and his Republican People’s Party, known as the CHP, who ran a spirited campaign that threatened to force Erdogan into a damaging runoff and deny his party control of parliament.