Erdogan wins increased powers as rival concedes defeat

GETTYFans out in support of President Erdogan

Erdogan, 64, the most popular - yet divisive - leader in modern Turkish history, told jubilant, flag-waving supporters there would be no retreat from his drive to transform Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member and, at least nominally, a candidate to join the European Union.

The Kremlin said Putin had "stressed that the results of the vote fully speak of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's great political authority (and) mass support of the course conducted under his leadership to solve Turkey's pressing social and economic tasks (and) strengthen the country's position in the global arena".

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a second five-year term on Sunday in an election granting the Turkish leader unprecedented executive powers.

Erdogan's ruling party and its nationalist ally also appeared to secure a majority in the legislature, based on unofficial results published by both the state-run news agency and the opposition-linked Election Justice Platform, which was monitoring the count.

His main rival Muharrem Ince of the Republican People's Party (CHP), who had challenged Erdogan with an energetic campaign, broke an uncharacteristic overnight silence to declare on Monday he accepted the results.

Final results are due to be published by the Supreme Election Board (YSK) later this week but its chairman Sadi Guven declared Erdogan the victor.

The lira currency, which has lost some 20 percent of its value this year, rallied some 2 percent in early trade, while stocks rose more than 1 percent, after an eary surge, as investors bet that the result would lead to political stability - a positive for financial markets. Under the system, the office of the prime minister is eliminated and executive powers are transferred to the president, who can rule with limited checks and balances. "We will fight even more with the strength you provided us with this election".

The elections took place under a state of emergency in place since the 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan, which the mission said "limited" freedoms of expression and assembly.

Ak Party's alliance with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the People's Alliance, secured a majority of seats in parliamentary elections on Sunday.

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

Several world leaders supportive of Erdogan, including Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, called to congratulate him on his "victory", the presidency said.

The president's critics, including the European Union, which Turkey still nominally aspires to join, say Erdogan has used the crackdown to stifle dissent.

Erdogan had called surprise snap elections in April, 19 months ahead of schedule, in a move that analysts said was meant to catch the opposition off guard.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offered his "sincerest congratulations" to Erdogan.

He won the last presidential election in 2014 after completing two terms as prime minister.

"This election was unjust until the results were announced", he told a news conference at CHP headquarters after ordering out crews from state-run TRT over their campaign coverage. Among other things, Erdogan now has the power to rule by decree, appoint Cabinet members, write Turkey's budget and appoint judges - all without parliamentary approval.

That control of Turkey's judiciary deepened when the president past year assumed a greater say in top judicial appointments.

"Turkey made its choice in favour of a more determined fight against the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and (Gulenists)", Erdogan said.

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