Turkish president recap Tayyip Erdogan has been re-elected by a margin of four percentage points.
He took 52 percent of the vote, compared with 48 percent for his challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu. The head of Turkey’s electoral board confirmed the victory, saying that even after accounting for outstanding votes, Erdogan had won a third term by an overwhelming majority. Erdogan gave two separate speeches thanking the nation for entrusting him with the presidency for five more years.
He ridiculed his challenger for his loss, saying “bye bye bye, Kemal,” as supporters booed. Kilicdaroglu campaigned on promises to reverse Erdogan’s democratic backsliding, to restore the economy by reverting to more conventional policies and to improve ties with the west. He said the election was “the most unjust ever,” with all state resources mobilized for Erdogan.
The result will have implications far beyond the capital of Ankara, as Turkey stands at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and plays a key role in NATO. Erdogan now has a stronger hand domestically and internationally for his increasingly authoritarian rule into its third decade. The country is still reeling from high inflation and the aftermath of an attempted coup in 2016.