They are congratulating Erdogan as his reign approaches its third decade. Sunday’s election results gave President Tayyip Erdogan a mandate to continue the authoritarian policies that have polarized Turkey’s society and bolstered the country’s standing as a regional military power during the past two decades.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, his opponent, declared it “the most unfair election in years,” but he did not contest the results.
Kilicdaroglu received 47.9% of the vote, while Erdogan received 52.1%, showing that the country is significantly split.
The opposition believed it had a good chance of removing Erdogan from office and reversing his policies following a cost-of-living crisis, making this election one of the most important in Turkey’s history.
After reshaping domestic, economic, security, and diplomatic policy in the NATO member country of 85 million people, the triumph only bolstered his image of invincibility.
His detractors, who accuse him of eroding democracy as he consolidated power, must feel vindicated by the possibility of another five years of his leadership.
After promising to set aside differences and rally around national ideals and dreams in his Ankara victory address, Erdogan abruptly shifted gears, attacking the opposition and accusing Kilicdaroglu of supporting terrorists without evidence.
Selahattin Demirtas, the former leader of a pro-Kurdish party, was labeled by him as a “terrorist,” and his release was said to be impossible under his administration.
According to Erdogan, inflation is Turkey’s top priority.
NATO allies, concerned about Erdogan’s friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, are likely to be disappointed by Kilicdaroglu’s loss and have congratulated their “dear friend” on his triumph.
US Vice President Joe Biden tweeted, “I look forward to continuing to work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges.”
Ankara’s tight alliance with Moscow and disagreements over Syria have also hampered U.S. relations with Turkey, as has Erdogan’s opposition to Sweden’s NATO membership.
ERDOGAN claims, “TODAY, THE ONLY WINNER IS TURKEY.”
Erdogan, 69, told his ecstatic fans, “The only winner today is Turkey” earlier from atop a bus in Istanbul. “I thank every one of our people who re-elected us to serve as their leaders for another five years,” he declared.
With his victory, Erdogan will remain Turkey’s leader through October, the politically significant centennial of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s establishment of modern Turkey from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.
Erdogan, leader of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, used divisive, nationalist, and conservative language to win over people and divert attention away from the country’s severe economic problems.
He continued his attacks on the opposition in his acceptance speech, saying they were “pro-LGBT.”
Kilicdaroglu, who campaigned on a platform of bringing the country closer to democracy and international cooperation, claimed that the results of the election demonstrated the public’s desire to remove an autocratic administration. He claimed that “everything the state had was put at the feet of one man.”
“DISAPPOINTED AND SAD”
Those supporting Erdogan outside his Istanbul home shouted variations of the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar,” which translates to “God is Greatest.
Nisa, a 28-year-old lady who sports a headscarf and a headband with Erdogan’s name, expressed optimism about the future.
Another Erdogan backer said that another five years in office would only strengthen Turkey under his leadership.
“There are problems and issues in every country in the globe, including European countries… Supporter Mert, 39, added, “With strong leadership, we will overcome Turkey’s problems as well.” He commented while celebrating with his kid.
The opposition, according to 24-year-old Kilicdaroglu supporter Bugra Oztug. “Although I am sad and disappointed, I do not feel hopeless. Despite what some may say, I believe some can see the facts and truth,” Oztug remarked.
Erdogan’s opponents, who expected voters to punish him for the state’s tardy response to the terrible earthquakes in February in which more than 50,000 people perished, have been caught off guard by his performance.
However, in the first round of voting on May 14, which included parliamentary elections, his AK Party came out on top in 10 of the 11 provinces affected by the earthquakes, giving it and its allies a legislative majority.
CONCERNS FOR FREEDOMS
President of France, Emmanuel Macron, extended his best wishes, noting that his country and Turkey faced “huge challenges together.”
In the Middle East, where Erdogan has established Turkish influence, at times with military strength, he received congratulations from leaders like the presidents of Iran and Israel and the monarch of Saudi Arabia. Erdogan, who was at odds with many regional governments for a long time, has become more amicable in recent years.
The belief “in his ability to solve problems, even though he created many of them,” according to Emre Erdogan, a political science professor at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, has made Erdogan so popular.
Conservative voters, who have long felt ignored, have stuck with Erdogan. The erosion of political and civil liberties, he predicted, together with polarization and cultural battles between two political tribes, would define this era.
Despite years of economic instability, which detractors blamed on unorthodox economic policies that the opposition had pledged to change, Erdogan appeared to have prevailed.
Last week, the lira hit a new low as investors fretted over what an Erdogan victory would entail for economic policies.
Last week, Reuters reported that Erdogan’s government was split on whether to abandon an economic program that some members deemed unsustainable.
After the judiciary and central bank had been marginalized over the previous decade, Kilicdaroglu promised to reset governance, restore human rights, and reinstate their independence.