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Recep Tayyip Erdogan wins Turky's 1st direct presidential election


08-11-2014 09:48 BJT

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been elected president in Turkey’s first direct presidential election, striking a conciliatory tone toward critics who fear he is bent on a power grab. 

Erdogan declared victory in a watershed vote in the country’s nearly 91-year history. The election ensured the current prime minister’s position at the helm for at least another five years. With 99 percent of ballot boxes counted, Erdogan had nearly 52 percent of the vote. The first round victory will allow Erdogan to press ahead with his plans to strengthen the powers of the presidency. 

Reaction to Erdogan’s election win on Sunday was mixed with some opponents expressing disappointment at the results. Erdogan’s main rival, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, had about 38 percent and the third candidate, Selahattin Demirtas, had less than ten percent. 

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