Erdogan's election victory praised around world

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is fighting for his re-election with five other candidates

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the long-running leader of Turkey who has ruled in increasingly authoritarian fashion over the last several years, declared victory in presidential elections held on Sunday.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said the CHP-led alliance received 34 percent of the parliamentary vote, while Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, or AKP, lost its majority.

Russian President Vladimir Putin "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 on the worldwide arena", the Kremlin said.

Erdogan has just under 53 percent in the presidential poll while Ince, of the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), was on 31 percent, state-run Anadolu news agency said, based on a 96 percent vote count.

Perhaps the most surprising result from the election was the success of the MHP, who are in a political coalition with the AKP.

Erdogan's Justice and Development Party fell short of a parliamentary majority but a better-than-expected performance by its nationalist ally would allow the party to control the 600-seat legislature.

The HDP's presidential candidate, Selahattin Demirtas, campaigned from prison, where he is detained on terrorism charges that he denies. Of course, Erdogan's election is being questioned by members of the opposition parties, which all banded together to try to bring him down, to no avail. The Supreme Electoral Council announced it would investigate an incident in the southern province of Urfa, where observers reported attempts at ballot stuffing.

The AKP says the changes are meant to make Erdogan's government more efficient and workable while he enacts rapid reforms that are fundamental to his agenda. Critics say it will further erode democracy in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member state and entrench one-man rule.

"Turkey´s stability is good news for the whole of Europe, because our continent faces a number of serious security challenges, and it is essential to overcome them with predictable and effective cooperation with Turkey", Orban said in a letter to Erdogan quoted by his office.

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The expanded authority of the office is the result of constitutional changes narrowly approved in a referendum previous year, which will afford Erdogan autonomy to directly appoint top public officials.

Speaking in televised remarks from Istanbul late Sunday, 64-year-old Erdogan said "the nation has entrusted to me the responsibility of the presidency and the executive duty".

Supporters of the left-wing pro-Kurdish Peoples Democracy Party (HDP) also celebrated on Sunday as their party managed to pass the 10 percent threshold required to enter the parliament.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared himself the victor of a high-stakes Turkish election, as he looks to consolidate his power on a nation he has ruled for 15 years.

The CHP said it had recorded violations in particular in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa.

He secured an executive presidency with sweeping powers, having been first elected 15 years ago.

"The opposition will not be a nuisance anymore with the new presidential system", said another Erdogan supporter, retired sailor Engin Ozmen, 60.

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. As veteran Turkey analyst Alan Makovsky has repeatedly noted, the parliament retains some power, and Erdogan will have to continue to pursue hawkish policies on the Kurds, for instance, to maintain MHP support for his own agenda.

The president's supporters say the new system will make Turkey safer and stronger. A state of emergency imposed after the coup remains in place.

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