Erdogan Wins Turkish Presidency

_76850574_023445630Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a period of social reconciliation on Sunday in his first speech as president-elect, after winning just over half the votes in the country’s first popular election for head of state.

“I say this from the heart. Let’s start a new social reconciliation period today and let’s leave the old discussions in the old Turkey,” Erdogan told thousands of supporters in a victory speech from the balcony of his AK Party headquarters.

He is set to be Turkey’s next president after local media credited the longstanding premier with more than half the vote in a near-complete count and allies said Erdogan had won.

Shortly after the annoucement, Erdogan said that the nation had shown its will, and would make a statement later.

The main opposition candidate in Turkey’s first presidential election congratulated Erdogan on Sunday after results broadcast by Turkish media showed Erdogan had won.

“I congratulate Mr Prime Minister and wish him success,” Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said in a brief statement to reporters in Istanbul.

After the election that his opponents say may create an increasingly authoritarian state, broadcasters said Erdogan had 52.0 percent of the vote, 13 points more than his closest rival.

Such a result would rule out a runoff round and seal Erdogan’s place in history as Turkey’s first directly elected head of state, a role expected to enhance his power.