Turkey's victorious Erdogan set to assume sweeping powers

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Turkey's strongman leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has secured another term as the country's president after winning a majority of votes in Sunday's presidential election, according to the state news Andalou Agency.

Turkey's main opposition candidate Muharrem Ince has conceded defeat in Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections, calling on the victor, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who returns as president, to end his divisive policies.

With almost 80 percent of the country's ballot boxes counted, Erdogan was at 54.3 percent of the vote, with his main rival Muharrem Ince at 29.9 percent, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

In a telegram earlier Monday, Putin had "stressed that the results of the vote fully speak of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's great political authority (and) mass support of the course conducted under his leadership to solve Turkey's pressing social and economic tasks (and) strengthen the country's position in the global arena".

"The unofficial results of the elections have become clear".

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the press after casting his ballot at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 24, 2018. 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. The post of the prime minister is also set to be abolished.

Erdogan, according to the agency, stressed Turkey's "continued support" to the Palestinian people and "their just cause and their right to freedom and stability".

Erdoğan struck a defiant tone in his victory speech early on Monday in Ankara, saying Turkey had set "an example" for the rest of the world, vowing to carry on military campaigns in Syria, fight terror groups and raise Turkey's global prestige. But after a failed coup attempt in 2016, the illiberal trend accelerated. "With the presidential system, Turkey is seriously raising the bar, rising above the level of contemporary civilizations".

On 16 April 2017 Turkish voters narrowly approved a package of constitutional amendments granting President Erdoğan sweeping new powers.

Even though the party splintered a year ago with the formation of the rival Iyi Party, and despite the unpopularity of leader Devlet Bahceli, the party managed to increase its number of seats from the previous election, defying poll numbers. Few newspapers or other media openly criticize the government, and he has received far more election coverage than other presidential candidates.

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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.

"All Muslims in the world will continue to take benefit from President Erdogan's leadership, together with the Turkish nation", he said. Voter turnout for the election was reportedly 87%.

But the opposition has lambasted the uneven nature of the poll, which saw state-controlled television ignore Ince's giant rally in Istanbul on the eve of the election. The poster reads: "Our people won, Turkey won, Thank you istanbul".

Mr Amor added that the mission's special coordinator, said the observers "profoundly regret" that two observers were denied entry into Turkey over alleged bias against the country.

The executive director of the Chicago-based charity Zakat Foundation, Halil Demir also said President Erdogan proved that he was not the president of his ruling AK Party, but the entire country.

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Some 50,000 people have been arrested and more than 110,000 civil servants have been fired in a massive government crackdown that has taken place under a state of emergency imposed after the coup that is still in place.