Erdogan and AKP win snap elections in Turkey
Turkey's long-standing leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a new five-year term after securing outright victory in the first round of a presidential poll.
The country's election authority chief Sadi Guven said the president "received the absolute majority of all valid votes".
"No attempts have been made so far to challenge the results of the election. He also noted that the Justice and Development Party, the Republican People’s Party, the Nationalist Movement Party, the Good Party and the People’s Democratic Party had overcome the 10-percent threshold and would be represented in parliament," TASS cited Guven as saying.
Meanwhile, vote counting continues after the early presidential and parliamentary elections in the country. According to the Supreme Electoral Council, Erdogan has garnered 52.5% of the vote, while his key rival Muharrem Ince who represents Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party secured 30.7% of the vote, Selahattin Demirtas (the opposition People's Democratic Party) - 8.4%, Meral Aksener (the opposition IYI Party) - 7.3%, Temel Karamollaoglu (the opposition Felicity (Saadet) Party) - 0.9% and Dogu Perincek (Vatan Party) - 0.2%.
For its part, the People’s Alliance formed by the ruling Justice and Development Party and the Nationalist Movement Party has secured most seats in national parliament with 53.6% of the vote with 99.9% of ballots processed. The opposition Republican People’s Party garnered 22.7% of the vote, the People’s Democratic Party - 11.5% and Good Party - 10.1%. The remaining political associations did not overcome the 10-percent threshold.
An associate professor of the Faculty of International Relations of the TOBB University of Economics and Technology (Ankara), Togrul Ismail, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Turkish voters sprang a surprise on the expert community once again, which expected the second round of the presidential election. "It was a big surprise for all political scientists who spoke about the high probability of the second round. All the results of the polls indicated that as well, but as a result, Turkish voters preferred to solve the issue of the presidency in the first round. Recep Tayyip Erdogan became the first president in new Turkey - the republic with the presidential system of government," he said.
Ismail explained Erdogan's success by his significant political experience. "He skillfully used the population's patriotic sentiments, which increased due to his struggle with terrorist organizations, especially in northern Iraq and in Syria. In addition, the People's Alliance, which united the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), helped him. The alliance also helped the AKP itself, since it won fewer votes in the parliamentary elections than before, but retained the majority in the parliament," the political scientist said.
Meanwhile, one cannot underestimate the fact that Erdogan has collected only 52% of the vote. "It is also important that Muharrem Ince collected more than 30%, and that other opposition figures also did well. 52% is not the highest percentage for elections, which indicates the Turkish society's separation in their views roughly on an equal basis. Erdogan should take this situation into account in the period of the new presidential term," Togrul Ismail said.
Head of the expert council of Baku Network, Elkhan Alasgarov, also linked Erdogan's victory with the struggle against terrorists in Syria and Iraq. "Normal, good-neighborly relations have been established with Russia and Iran. These three countries are closely cooperating in Syria. The security factor and the victory over terror was the main factor that raised Erdogan's rating in the eyes of voters. The economic factor, such as the implementation of TANAP projects and the Turkish Stream is also important. Turkey's economic stability and success in the current situation also helped Erdogan to win," he said.
"We must pay tribute to the fact that the topic of growing authoritarianism in Turkey, its rapid transformation into a caliphate has been played up for a long time. They said that Erdogan was rebuilding the Ottoman Empire, and his projects were connected with political Islam, although there were more democratic changes in the country's real life. The elections showed that Turkey is a democratic country, and the accusations against Erdogan have no basis - the main opposition candidate managed to collect 30% of the votes. And Erdogan's parliament will have a majority, but not overwhelming," Elkhan Alasgarov noted.