Erdogan is re-elected in Turkey’s Presidential run-off in unprecedented second round

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Incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won the tightly contested elections in Turkey in an unprecedented run-off that threatened to end his 20-year reign of one of the world’s most politically strategic economies.

On the crossroads of East and West, the powerbroker that Erdogan has proven to be in international relations, from migration to the war on Ukraine, vetoing Sweden’s bid to join NATO, told his supporters this would be “Turkey’s century”, just as the country marks its centennial this year.

Thousands celebrated across the country as Erdogan becomes President of Turkey for another five years with 52.1% of the votes compared to the opposition coalition’s 47.9% of the votes counted thus far.

In his surprise speech in Istanbul ahead of the final count, expected in a few days, Erdogan hailed the results as “a win for Turkey”.

The opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu conceded defeat all the while calling the process “the most unfair elections ever” in his speech.

Erdogan defied all odds in light of a spiralling economy, rampant inflation, and a currency devaluation just days before the runoff, not to mention his base feeling neglected and betrayed, largely blaming him for the disastrous construction in the wake of the deadly earthquakes that hit the country earlier this year.

Syrians are already fearful for their lives as Erdogan’s campaign promise was to return the refugees back to their war-torn country, inciting hate crimes in the run up to the elections.

With journalists and Erdogan’s critics imprisoned regularly and in the tens of thousands, many fear an ever more authoritarian rule although the new President-elect promises this marks a new era for Turkey. What that means exactly remains to be seen.

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