President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Wins Türkiye’s Run-Off Election

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday emerged victorious in Türkiye’s run-off election in which he defeated challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who was leading a coalition of opposition parties.  

Türkiye’s electoral authority has declared the 69-year-old as the winner with six points. The turnout for the polls was 85 percent.

United States of America President Joe Biden immediately recognised the outcome of the election, saying: “Congratulations to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Türkiye on his re-election”. 

The 46th President of the U.S.A. added: “I look forward to continuing to work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges.”

Sunday’s contest took place after Erdogan, who has ruled the country for two decades could not win enough votes in the first round on 14 May 2023.

Erdogan won the election despite an economic downturn and the devastating effects of earthquakes that left more than 50 000 dead and many others displaced.

Erdogan, a devout Muslim, heads the conservative and religious Justice and Development Party, also known as the AKP.

Although he has won another five-year mandate, observers say Erdogan will preside over a much-polarised country.

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Other world leaders including Russia’s Vladimir Putin have also sent congratulatory messages to Erdogan who thanked “everyone” and said “Today the winner is Türkiye”.

The losing candidate, 74-year-old Kilicdaroglu, urged his supporters to stay strong. He accepted the results of the election, which he, however, described as the “most unjust”.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro congratulated Erdogan saying he celebrates “triumph of brother and friend”.