Turkey's opposition concedes election defeat as Erdogan returns as president

Turnout is expected to be as high as 85 per cent

Erdogan, who secured a new five-year term as President on the first round of voting on Sunday, re-enters office with a vast array of new powers at his disposal, following a narrowly-won constitutional referendum last year.

He urged Erdogan to be a leader of all Turks adding that Erdogan should "represent 80 million" and telling him: "You are the president for us all".

Many critics say this year's military operation in Afrin, Syria, was primarily created to boost both Mr Erdogan's reputation and nationalist sentiment prior to the elections; however, in his victory speech to supporters from the ruling party's headquarters in Ankara he said that Turkey would now act more decisively against terrorist organisations.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for the past 15 years, is set to extend his rule with sweeping powers after winning landmark presidential and parliamentary elections. The post of the prime minister will be abolished, and its powers transferred to Erdogan, who will also have the ability to appoint senior judges, ministers and vice presidents, giving him full control of those who are supposed to check his authority.

The victor of Sunday's presidential election will be the first Turkish head of state to govern with expanded powers after constitutional changes were approved in April 2017.

The president, 64, declared victory in Istanbul before returning to Ankara to deliver a triumphant speech at 3:00 am to tens of thousands of supporters from the balcony of the headquarters of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

"Turkey has given a lesson in democracy to the entire world", he added, pointing to a turnout of 88 per cent.

While the main opposition group, the secular Republican Peoples' Party, criticised state media reporting of the vote count, this result is demoralising.

"The winners of the June 24 elections are Turkey, the Turkish nation, sufferers of our region and all oppressed (people) of the world", Erdogan said.

Opposition leader Muharrem Ince conceded defeat, and warned that Turkey would suffer from "one-man rule" at the hands of Erdogan.

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What the elections have clearly demonstrated is the deep polarization within Turkey with nearly half the electorate opposed to Erdogan's dictatorial ways and his attempt to introduce "soft" Islam into the Turkish polity.

An unofficial tally released by the state news agency gave Erdogan 52.6 percent of the ballots, with Ince trailing at 30.6 percent.

The High Election Board (YSK) said on Monday the elections had been "healthy".

Erdogan, who enjoys sky-high support in parts of the Anatolian heart of the country, improved on his 51.8 per cent score from 2014.

"According to unofficial results, the outcome of the elections is clear". Reports suggest that Erdogan is also itching to take the battle against the Kurds to the PKK redoubt in the Qandil Mountains in Iraq.

"It is out of the question for us to turn back from where we've brought our country in terms of democracy and the economy", Erdogan told jubilant, flag-waving supporters on Sunday night.

'In Turkey people think it is ridiculous that people in the Netherlands have a vote, ' he said.

The HDP was polling 11.5 percent, well over the 10 percent minimum threshold needed, to win 67 seats which would make the party the second largest opposition faction in the new chamber.

"The fact that I was forced to campaign in detention conditions was the greatest injustice", Demirtas said.

Bahceli has already congratulated Erdogan over his victory in Sunday's elections. The United States, France and Germany don't want us to be stable.

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