Turkey goes to the polls in crucial election

Turks set to vote in crucial presidential and parliamentary polls

More than 56 million Turkish citizens are eligible to cast their ballots

At the conclusion of Sunday's Turkish national elections, during which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan guaranteed his continued rule, two Turkish Armenians were re-elected to the parliament.

Erdogan won 52.5 percent in the presidential poll while Ince, of the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), was at 31.5 percent, state-run Anadolu news agency said, based on a 99 percent vote count.

Several world leaders supportive of Erdogan, including Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, called to congratulate him on his "victory", the presidency said.

"I thank God for showing us this lovely day", Ahmet Dindarol, 35, told Al Jazeera, as he joined in the celebrations in front of the AK Party headquarters in Istanbul.

He secured an executive presidency with sweeping powers, having been first elected 15 years ago. "In this term, we will be before our nation and make up for our shortcomings".

"Things will get better from now on".


Trailing were Meral Aksener of the nationalist (Iyi) Good Party with over seven percent and Selahattin Demirtas of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) with nearly eight percent.

Erdogan also warned anyone against casting doubt on the results: "I hope nobody will harm our country's democracy by casting a shadow on the election system and its results in order to disguise their failure".

The YSK is to announce final results on Friday. Turnout was at 87 percent for both polls, preliminary data shows. That control of Turkey's judiciary deepened when the president previous year assumed a greater say in top judicial appointments.

A new rule come into place after the election, removing the role of Prime Minister and giving the President complete ruling power.

"The opposition parties ran surprisingly strong, energetic and competitive campaigns", Amanda Sloat, an Obama administration official who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told the New York Times.

Under the new system, Erdogan will appoint ministers, vice presidents and high-level bureaucrats, issue decrees, prepare the budget and decide on security policies.


The two parties are predicted to claim 293 and 49 seats in the 600-member parliament respectively, with nearly all of the ballot boxes opened, according to the Anadolu Agency. It would be an important first step to demonstrate to the 47 percent who voted for other presidential candidates that he intends to govern for the whole population and protect their rights.

The pro-Kurdish HDP is set to secure 66 seats after receiving 11.1 percent.

Turkey should extend its almost two-year state of emergency for some more time, a senior member of the nationalist MHP party allied to Erdogan's party said on Tuesday. "It gives it a lot of power".

Presidential candidate of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Muharrem Ince holds a potato and an onion as he delivers a speech during a rally in Istanbul, on June 23, 2018.

Erdogan entered the race in the face of a depreciating lira and straining relations with the West amid an ongoing state of emergency.

Authorities have regularly carried out such operations against alleged Gulen supporters since the July 2016 coup attempt under a state of emergency that limits certain freedoms and extends the detention time for questioning of suspects.


Erdogan blamed the coup on his former ally, USA -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, and has waged a sweeping crackdown on the preacher's followers in Turkey. Doing so would be the right thing for the country.

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