The head of Turkey’s election commission yesterday declared President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the winner of a historic runoff vote that will extend his 20-year rule until 2028.
“Based on provisional results, it has been determined that Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been elected president,” Supreme Election Council chairman Ahmet Yener was quoted as saying by the Anadolu state news agency.
Erdogan appealed for national unity Monday after winning a historic runoff election that extended two decades of his transformative but divisive rule until 2028.
The 69-year-old overcame Turkey’s worst economic crisis in a generation and the most powerful opposition alliance to ever face his Islamic-rooted party on his way to his toughest election win.
Streets erupted in car-honking jubilation and tributes poured in from across the world as Turkey’s most important leader in modern history led a sea of supporters in celebratory song outside his presidential palace in Ankara.
“We should come together in unity and solidarity,” Erdogan told the chanting and flag-waving crowd.
“We call for this with all our heart.”
Near-complete results showed Erdogan beating secular opposition challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu by four percentage points.
“I look forward to continuing to work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges,” US President Joe Biden tweeted as Erdogan spoke.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin said the outcome showed the support for Erdogan’s “efforts to strengthen state sovereignty and pursue an independent foreign policy”.
Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky said he wanted to keep working with Erdogan “for the security and stability of Europe”.
Leaders across Europe and the Arab world also sent their congratulations — as did former US president Donald Trump.
Traffic on Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square ground to a halt and huge crowds of singing and flag-waving supporters gathered across Turkey.
“Our people chose the right man,” 17-year-old Nisa Sivaslioglu said in the Turkish capital.
“I expect Erdogan to add more to the good things he has already done for our country.”