Published: Tue, June 26, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Turkey’s election reveals the durability of nationalism

Turkey’s election reveals the durability of nationalism

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed in a phone conversation on Monday their mutual interest in boosting partnership ties between the two countries, the Kremlin press service said.

Andalou said the party had won 42 percent of votes with 99 percent counted, projecting a total of 293 seats.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is preparing to extend his rule and take on new powers after his victory in elections on Sunday.

"President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received the absolute majority of all valid votes", the head of the Supreme Election Committee (YSK) Sadi Guven told reporters in Ankara, without giving further details or numbers after Sunday's polls.

Spokesman Bulent Tezcan of the Republican People's Party criticised Turkey's state-run news agency for reporting that Mr Erdogan has won enough to avoid a run-off and accused the agency of distorting the results.

Turkish voters re-elected Erdoğan to another term in office on Sunday in elections whose outcome is likely to shape the country for years or even decades to come.

Erdogan's victory could also add to Turkey's division with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Erdogan, whose victory was wider than predicted by many analysts, vowed to "rapidly" implement the new presidential system agreed in an April 2017 referendum. If the HDP exceeds the 10 percent threshold of votes needed to enter parliament, it will be harder for the AKP to get a majority.

Other presidential candidates include Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), who is now in jail on terrorism-related charges that he denies.

Mr Erdogan polled almost 53% in the most fiercely fought election in years.

Erdogan's closest rival, Muharrem Ince, who complained of unfair elections, has yet to formally concede defeat.

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"Starting from tomorrow, we will be in a rush trying to deliver on promises that we have made to our nation", he said Monday during the early morning victory speech.

Having defeated the twin threats of a reinvigorated opposition and a weakened currency, Erdogan addressed cheering supporters in the capital, Ankara, saying the victor of the election was democracy, the national will and the nation itself.

Turkish voters had for the first time cast ballots for both president and parliament in the snap polls. But after a failed coup attempt in 2016, the illiberal trend accelerated.

With Turkey holding parliamentary and presidential elections on the same day for the first time, Erdogan was also able to enjoy an overall majority in parliament with the help of his allies from the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The report said they were not accredited to monitor the vote.

Merkel underlined the traditionally friendly relations between Berlin and Ankara and also expressed support for stability and democracy in Turkey.

The CHP said it had recorded violations in particular in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa, although Erdogan insisted, after voting himself, there was no major problem.

He brought forward the elections from November 2019, but he reckoned without Ince, a former physics teacher and veteran CHP lawmaker, whose feisty performance at campaign rallies has galvanized Turkey's long-demoralized and divided opposition.

Erdogan supporters celebrate outside his official residence in Istanbul on Sunday.

The state of emergency restricts some freedoms and allows the government to bypass Parliament with decrees.

Ince called on Erdogan to "be everyone's president, embrace everyone".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders also told reporters that the USA urges Turkey to "take steps to strengthen democracy and continue progress toward resolving issues in the bilateral relationship".

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