Erdogan seeks to keep his seat with increased powers after key vote that will transform the country’s political system.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been re-elected as Turkey’s president, while an alliance led by his ruling party also won a majority in parliament.
More than 56 million people were eligible to vote in Sunday’s twin presidential and parliamentary polls, held for the first time on the same day.
The vote ushers in a powerful new executive presidency, in line with constitutional changes narrowly approved in a referendum last year.
Here are the latest developments:
The re-elected president has flown from Istanbul to the Turkish capital where he delivered an election victory speech to a cheering crowd outside the headquarters of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
“This election’s victor is democracy, this election’s victory is national will,” Erdogan said in the early hours of Monday
He told the Ankara rally that the country “will look at its future with so much more trust than it did this morning.”
Referring to his government’s foreign policy, Erdogan said Turkey will continue to “liberate Syrian lands” so that refugees can return to the neighbouring country safely.
The head of Turkey’s election authority says Erdogan has secured a new mandate in the first round of the country’s presidential election by winning more than 50 percent of the votes.
“President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received the absolute majority of all valid votes,” Sadi Guven told reporters in Ankara, without giving further details or numbers after Sunday’s polls.
The Supreme Election Committee will announce final results on Friday.
The lira, which has lost about 20 percent of its value against the US dollar this year, rose more than one percent in early trading in Asia on hopes of a stable working relationship between the president and parliament.
It reached 4.587 lira to the dollar at 12:17am (21:17 GMT).
Enthusiastic supporters of the Turkish president and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) have gathered outside the party’s headquarters in Istanbul.
“I thank God for showing us this beautiful day,” Ahmet Dindarol, 35, told Al Jazeera, as he joined in the celebrations.
“We elected Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the first executive president of Turkey. We prayed so much for him,” he added.
“Things will get better from now on. There will be less bureaucracy and more investments. The foreign powers who are playing games on Turkey’s economy got their response.”
Read more here.
Muharrem Ince, the presidential candidate of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), says he will make a statement after the Supreme Election Council (YSK) announces the final results.
He made the comment on Twitter, after Erdogan declared victory.
Opposition parties have alleged manipulation in the initial results, released by state news agency Anadolu.
Devlet Bahceli, head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), declared the People’s Alliance victory as one with ‘honor’.
Bahcelo also said that the People’s Alliance (AK Party and MHP) won the presidential election in the first round, and that those expecting a crisis were ‘bewildered’.
Many thanks to %87.5 of voters who exercised their democratic right!
— Mehmet Simsek (@memetsimsek) June 24, 2018
Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci also said Turkey would continue fiscal policies that have created “outstanding” growth.
Several world leaders have called and sent messages to congratulate Erdogan, according to Turkish state media.
Among them were Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Anadolu Agency reported.
The Turkish president says he has won re-election, citing unofficial results.
“The unofficial results of the elections have become clear. According to these … I have been entrusted by the nation with the task and duties of the presidency,” Erdogan said at his Istanbul residence.
He added that the alliance led by his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) had also won the majority in parliament.
“I hope nobody will overshadow the election results to bury their own failures,” said Erdogan.
However, the main opposition party said it was too early to concede defeat and said it believed Erdogan could still fall short of the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff on July 8.
The Supreme Election Council (YSK) is yet to announce the final results.
In his televised address, Erdogan also hailed the high turnout in Sunday’s twin elections.
“Turkey gives lesson in democracy to the world with almost 90 percent voter turnout,” he said.
Bekir Bozdag, a Turkish government spokesman, says Erdogan has been re-elected.
“The Turkish people have elected Erdogan as Turkey’s first president/executive president under the new system. The Turkish people have said ‘onwards’ with President Erdogan,” Bozdag wrote on Twitter.
His statement came as results reported by state-run Anadolu Agency showed Erdogan leading with 52.74 percent, with more than 95 percent of the votes counted.
People’s Alliance (AK Party – MHP): 53.84 percent (42.61 percent – 11.23 percent)
Nation Alliance (CHP – IYI Party – SP): 34.03 percent (22.17 percent – 10.05 percent – 1.38 percent)
HDP: 11.05 percent
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 52.83 percent
Muharrem Ince: 30.68 percent
Selahattin Demirtas: 7.96 percent
Meral Aksener: 7.44 percent
Source: Anadolu Agency
Ziya Meral, a Turkish analyst at Chatham House, told Al Jazeera that there are “so many ambiguties” about what will happen next in Turkey.
“This presidential system is brand new so there is still some unaswered questions,” he said.
“The constitution and state structures still need to be adjusted. The economy is facing mammoth tasks ahead so compromise might be the best way ahead for people in Turkey.”
“We are celebrating the new governance system,” Mahir Unal said, referring to the executive presidential system.
He also criticised opposition parties for targeting Anadolu Agency and Turkey’s election board.
“All parties have the same data,” he said. “A doubt cast on the election results damages the country’s reputation.”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 53.12 percent
Muharrem Ince: 30.54 percent
Meral Aksener: 7.78 percent
Selahattin Demirtas: 7.47 percent
Muharrem Ince, CHP’s presidential candidate, says election board data (YSK) suggests only 37 percent of ballot boxes have been opened as opposed to Anadolu Agency’s data of 85 percent.
He repeated his call to observers not to leave ballot boxes.
Sandık görevlisi arkadaşlarım; an itibariyle YSK’nın sisteminde sandıkların yüzde 37’si açılmış gözükmektedir. Televizyonlarda ise Anadolu Ajansı kaynaklı sandıkların yüzde 85’inin açıldığı yönünde haberler yapılmakta/sonuç açıklanmaktadır. Sandıkları terk etmeyin!
— Muharrem İNCE (@vekilince) June 24, 2018
Translation: My ballot box friends; At the moment, 37 percent of the ballot boxes in the system of YSK seems to be counted. On television, the news from the Anadolu Agency is being made that 85 percent of the votes have been counted. Don’t leave the ballot boxes!
People’s Alliance (AK Party – MHP): 54.71 percent (43.31 percent – 11.4 percent)
Nation Alliance (CHP – IYI Party – SP): 33.53 percent (22.17 percent – 9.97 percent – 1.39 percent)
HDP: 10.55 percent
A crowd of people has gathered outside the headquarters of the ruling AK Party in Istanbul.
The supporters of Erdogan are chanting slogans and lighting torches.
Similar scenes are taking place at the AK Party offices in the capital, Ankara.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 53.73 percent
Muharrem Ince: 30.02 percent
Meral Aksener: 7.49 percent
Selahattin Demirtas: 7.49 percent
If no candidate wins more than 50 percent in Sunday’s vote, a second round runoff will be held on July 8.
People’s Alliance (AK Party – MHP): 55.81 percent
Source: Anadolu Agency
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 55.02 percent
Muharrem Ince: 29.45 percent
Meral Aksener: 7.48 percent
Selahattin Demirtas: 6.95 percent
Meral Aksener, IYI Party leader and presidential candidate, accused Anadolu Agency of manipulation, and urged party observers not to leave ballot boxes until the end of the process.
Görevli ve müşahit kardeşlerim, sandıklarımızdan ayrılmıyoruz! AA'nın manipülatif sonuçlarından bağımsız, sandıklara son ana kadar sahip çıkıyoruz! Islak imzalı ve mühürlü nüshaları alana kadar sandık başında bekliyoruz!
— Meral Akşener (@meral_aksener) June 24, 2018
Translation: My brothers and sisters, we are not leaving the ballot boxes. Independent of the manipulative results of AA, we will stay by ballot boxes the until the last moment, until we get the signed and stamped copies of the votes.
Anadolu Ajansı manipülasyon yapıyor, Erdoğan’ın yüksek oy aldığı yerlerin sonuçlarını öncelikli veriyor. Sandık görevlilerimize sesleniyorum moralinizi bozup asla sandıkları terk etmeyin.
— Muharrem İNCE (@vekilince) June 24, 2018
Translation: What Anadolu Agency is doing is manipulation. They give priority to results where Erdogan got higher votes. I ask our officers, please don’t break your spirit and don’t leave the ballot boxes.
People’s Alliance (AK Party – MHP): 57.18 percent
Nation Alliance (CHP – IYI Party – SP): 31.84 percent
HDP: 9.7 percent
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 55.88 percent
Muharrem Ince: 28.97 percent
Meral Aksener: 7.45 percent
Selahattin Demirtas: 6.49 percent
Erdogan leads with 56.5 percent after half of the presidential votes have been counted, state media reported.
A spokesperson from the main opposition CHP said the state-run media’s election results coverage is an attempt to manipulate the public’s perception of the polls.
Bulent Tezcan, the CHP spokesman, said support for Erdogan would be below the majority required to win the race in the first round.
CHP MP Yakup Akkaya advises voters not to take seriously results coming from state-run Anadolu Agency, adding that the CHP has their own data. "Anadolu Agency's first results are crooked," he says, asking party representatives to stay with ballot boxes during count. #seçım2018
— Umut Uras (@Um_Uras) June 24, 2018
After a quarter of the parliamentary votes counted, the ruling AK Party are in the lead with 48.61 percent.
With 40 percent of presidential votes counted, Erdogan is still ahead of the other candidates with 57.1 percent.
Muharrem Ince: 28.3 percent
Meral Aksener: 7.5 percent
Selahattin Demirtas: 6.1 percent
According to state broadcaster TRT, voter turnout in the presidential election was 86.82 percent, while participation in the parliamentary vote was 87 percent.
Police have stopped a car and seized four sacks full of voting papers in the district of Suruc in Turkey’s southeastern province of Urfa.
The voting papers were reportedly previously sealed in order to be taken to the schools for voting count, according to Demiroren News Agency.
All three people in the car have been detained.
“We have taken necessary initiatives to launch administrative and judicial processes regarding alleged safety concerns at certain polling stations in Suruc,” Sadi Guven, the head of Supreme Election Board (YSK), said.
People’s Alliance (AK Party – MHP): 67.06 percent
Nation Alliance (CHP – IYI Party – SP): 23.64 percent
HDP: 6.82 percent
Recep Tayyip Erdogan leads with 59.3 percent after 20 percent of the vote is counted.
Main opposition candidate Ince is at 26.4 percent, with HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas at 5.5 percent.
The Turkish electoral board officials say that preliminary results are expected at 6:45pm local time (15:45 GMT).
Soli Ozel, a professor of international relations at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, told Al Jazeera that there are plenty of people in the country – such as the opposition’s three parties – who oppose the presidential executive system.
“What unified the opposition (who don’t have much in common with one another ideologically) is the fear that with this system, particularly if both the presidency and the parliament go to the ruling party and its leader, [will result in] such a degree of monopolisation of power without the appropriate mechanisms for checks and balances,” he said.
“This will actually damage whatever is left of Turkish democracy.”
These elections mark a new era in Turkey’s presidency and its politics.
Watch the video below to find out why the changes to Turkey’s political system are so significant.
Turkey’s main opposition presidential candidate Muharrem Ince said Turkish citizens should protect ballot boxes against possible fraud by the ruling AK Party.
Speaking after voting in the presidential and parliamentary elections ended at 5pm local time (14:00 GMT) Ince also said members of Turkey’s electoral board must do their job “the right way”.
He said he had no doubt the election results would be “very good”.
Polling stations closed across Turkey at 14:00 GMT.
There are no exit polls.
Vote counting is under way and the first results are expected in a few hours.
Ahmet Kasin Han, an associate professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Kadir Has University, says the polls are a major test for Erdogan in the face of a re-energised opposition.
“For better part of the past decade, we are seeing for the first time some momentum in the opposition,” he told Al Jazeera from Istanbul.
“Today’s elections are competitive ones thanks to that momentum on the part of the opposition, which proves the resilience of the Turkish democracy.”
Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK) announces it will look into complaints regarding election safety issues in the Suruc district of the southeastern province of Sanlıurfa following claims of vote-rigging.
“We have taken necessary initiatives to launch administrative and judicial processes regarding alleged safety concerns at certain polling stations in Suruc,” says YSK head Sadi Guven.
“I want a country that prioritises development in the areas of education, science and technology,” said Huriye Kumral, a 64-year-old retired engineer living in Istanbul’s Kadikoy. “ I hope for a change in this direction following the elections.”
“Turkey has moved away from the enlightening it experienced after the founding of the republic. We are losing the gains we achieved.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan casts his vote at a school in Istanbul’s Uskudar. He was accompanied by First Lady Emine Erdogan.
Speaking to reporters, Erdogan praises the high voter turnout, which according to him had crossed 50 percent.
“It [turnout] displays how advanced Turkish democracy is and how developed its democratic maturity is,” said Erdogan. “Turkey is experiencing a democratic revolution with this election,” he added.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s main rival Muharrem Ince votes in Yalova.
Ince has in the space of weeks risen from being a fiery parliamentarian to a serious presidential contender.
“I would like to wake up to a better Turkey with a different government,” says Veysel Emre Yersel, a 37-year-old estate agent living Istanbul’s Kadikoy.
“The country is moving towards an authoritarian regime and democratic standards are falling. There should be diversity in a democracy, in which everyone’s voices are heard,” added Yersel.
“In the current climate there is not diversity, there is only one voice.
“If Muharrem Ince comes to power and delivers only 25 percent of his pledges, Turkey will be in a far better place in not very long time.”
“I cast my vote for the stability in the country to continue.
“Things will get even better with the current government. I am happy with the policies of the current government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” said Ramazan Unal, a 39-year-old waiter in Istanbul’s Kadikoy.
“My living standards are higher today than they were ever before. The government delivered the biggest projects in Turkey’s history from modern hospitals to airports and universities.”
“Everything would be better under an AK Party,” said Unal.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim casts his ballot at a centre in the western province of Izmir, a city known for being a CHP stronghold.
The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, or HDP, is one of the main opposition parties vying for a share of Sunday’s votes.
Although Kurds make up only 17 percent of the electorate, HDP’s performance could have a decisive impact on the election.
Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Vall reports from one of the party’s biggest strongholds in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
Turkey’s justice minister Abdulhamit Gulsays voting is proceeding peacefully across the country, after he cast his vote in southern Gaziantep province.
There is no information regarding any disruption in the elections. Everybody is casting their votes in peace, says Gul.
Second round of voting will take place on July 8, unless a candidate gets more than 50 percent on Sunday.
Presidential hopefuls from the Nation Alliance, HDP’s Demirtas, have declared they will back any candidate running against Erdogan, if the race goes to a runoff vote.
More than 56 million voters are able to cast their ballots in more than 180,000 ballot boxes across Turkey.
Previous elections in Turkey have seen between 80-85% of eligible voters cast their ballots.
The AK Party is running in an alliance with the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to create the People’s Alliance for the polls. Erdogan is the bloc’s joint presidential candidate.
Running as an opposition bloc called the Nation Alliance, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the right-wing Good Party (IYI) and the ultraconservative Felicity Party (SP), along with centre-right Democrat Party (DP) have joined forces.
The National Alliance fields individual presidential candidates, including CHP’s Muharrem Ince, and Meral Aksener who leads IYI Party.
The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) enters elections without an alliance. Its presidential candidate is imprisoned leader Selahattin Demirtas.
The presidential and parliamentary elections are kicking off (05:00 GMT) across the country.
Polls will close at 14:00 GMT, with preliminary results expected at 17:00 GMT. Official results will not be out for a few days.