Erdogan consolidates control over Turkey with election win

A million people attend an election rally of Muharrem Ince

Image It is estimated that a million people attended Muharrem Ince's election rally

But both Turkey and America have societies deeply polarized along identity lines; leaders who challenge democratic institutions and do not always respect global norms or historic friendships; and Western partners who struggle to develop appropriate policy responses for challenging allies.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan waves to supporters gathered above a balcony at the headquarters of the AK Party in Ankara, June 24, 2018, as they celebrate Erdogan winning five more years in office.

"Although he has made many mistakes, we welcomed [Erdogan's] victory because the alternative would have been catastrophic for refugees", Sanaa said.

Erdogan blamed the coup on his former ally, US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, and has waged a sweeping crackdown on his followers in Turkey, detaining some 160,000 people, according to the United Nations.

"The restrictions we have seen on fundamental freedoms have had an impact on these elections", said Ignacio Sanchez Amor, head of the OSCE short-term observer mission in Turkey.

Taking to Twitter, Ince urged voters to wait until the High Electoral Board released official results and later said he would make a statement at noon local time Monday.

The elections took place under emergency rule, which Erdogan imposed two years ago after a botched military coup.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Mr Erdogan on his win, sending a congratulatory telegram.

The amendments will transform the country from a parliamentary democracy into a presidential system - arguably the most significant political development since the Turkish republic was declared in 1923. He was prime minister between 2003 and 2014.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, was edging past the 10 per cent threshold to enter parliament, with 10.7 per cent.

On the opposition side, the CHP (People's Republican Party) won 22.6 percent, a performance that did not meet predictions and fell short of the 25 percent CHP won in the November 2015 elections. That gives their right-wing alliance control of the legislature, should they continue to act in unison as they have since 2016.

"Erdogan is the supreme strategist and he put these skills to good use", said Skinner.

Gone is the prime minister, his role abolished, and much of parliament's oversight of the executive branch.

The election coincides with the implementation of a new executive presidential system which was approved in a referendum a year ago. If no one gets over 50% of support, a runoff election will be held.

He is loved by millions of working class Turkish citizens for delivering years of stellar economic growth and overseeing the construction of roads, bridges, airports, hospitals and schools.

But they chose to stick with a leader whom one voter called "our father".

Turkey's long-standing leader is standing over a long decline of the nation's currency. "Our country will only continue to grow with him".

State television all but ignored the opposition, with state-run TRT not airing a single second of live coverage from Ince's final rally on Saturday. Ince, his closest rival, won 30.6 per cent. Aksener attracted 7.35% of the vote.

The win comes despite their co-leader Selahattin Demirtas campaigning from prison. He has said his imprisonment was to silence him.

Both operations came after a year of intense terror attacks conducted by both PKK and its affiliates as well as Daesh in Turkey in 2016.

HDP has seen nine of its lawmakers, including Demirtas, and thousands of party members jailed, and says more than 350 of its election workers have been detained since April 28.

Voter turnout was high at nearly 87%, the state broadcaster reported.

Voting already closed last week for Turkish citizens resident overseas, with just under 1.5 million out of just over 3 million registered voters casting their ballot, a turnout of just under 49 percent.

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