Erdogan Claims Victory

President thanks Turkey for five more years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 28, 2023 1:25 PM CDT
Erdogan Claims Victory
Supporters of the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gather outside the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, on Sunday to await election results.   (AP Photo/Ali Unal)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared victory Sunday in Turkey's runoff election, extending his increasingly authoritarian rule into a third decade. With nearly 99% of ballot boxes opened, unofficial results from competing news agencies showed Erdogan with 52% of the vote, compared with 48% for his challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu. In his first comments since the polls closed, Erdogan spoke to supporters on a campaign bus outside his home in Istanbul, the AP reports. “I thank each member of our nation for entrusting me with the responsibility to govern this country once again for the upcoming five years,” he said.

Erdogan ridiculed his challenger for his loss, saying "bye bye bye, Kemal," as supporters booed. "The only winner today is Turkey," Erdogan said. In Istanbul, the president's supporters began celebrating even before the final results arrived, waving Turkish or ruling party flags, and honking car horns. "This is not a crushing defeat for those who wanted change," an analyst told CNN. "We are once again looking at a divided country ... both camps want entirely different things for Turkey." Erdogan, 69, could remain in power until 2028. "We will be together until the grave," he told the crowd, per the New York Times.

(More Turkey stories.)

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