Turkey Elections 2018: All the latest updates

Citing unofficial results, president gives victory speech and says AK Party-led alliance has won parliamentary vote.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey June 24, 2018. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. [Reuters]
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey June 24, 2018. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. [Reuters]

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:

Erdogan rival Ince: ‘I accept these election results’

  • The main rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in this weekend’s presidential election said on Monday he accepted the results. 
  • “I accept these election results,” said Muharrem Ince of the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
  • 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.”
  • But Ince, who had faced limited airtime on television in the campaign, said the run-up to the election had been unfair.
  • “This election was unjust until the results were announced,” he told a news conference at CHP headquarters.

Kremlin congratulates Erdogan on his re-election

  • The Kremlin said President 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 international arena”.
  • Putin stressed his readiness to continue “close joint work” and dialogue with Erdogan, the Kremlin said.
  • “This is certainly in the interests of the peoples of Russia and Turkey,” the Kremlin statement said, praising the “partner-like ties” between the two.

Lira strengthens slightly on unofficial results

  • The Turkish lira was up about 0.5 percent at 4.64 per dollar, after jumping as much as 1.6 percent earlier.
  • The lira had initially soared after Erdogan claimed victory on Sunday, overcoming the biggest electoral challenge to his rule in a decade and a half.

Strong showing for Erdogan among Turkish community in Germany

  • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gained a higher percentage of votes from the Turkish community in Germany than from within Turkey itself, according to initial results.
  • His supporters celebrated in the streets of Berlin early on Monday waving Turkish flags and those of his AK Party, also driving down the city’s famous Kurfuerstendamm shopping boulevard in motorcades and shouting “Recep Erdogan, our leader”.
  • German lawmaker and former Greens party co-leader Cem Ozdemir, whose family comes from Turkey, criticised the behaviour of Erdogan supporters in Germany saying it “should concern us all”.

Erdogan addresses supporters in Ankara

  • 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 president and his wife, Emine Erdogan, greet supporters in Ankara [Umit Bektas/Reuters]

Election authority: Erdogan wins presidential vote

  • 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.

Turkish lira strengthens slightly

  • 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). 

Celebrations after Erdogan declares victory

  • 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.

    Erdogan supporters celebrate in Istanbul [Cagan Orhon/Al Jazeera]

Main opposition leader to speak after official results announced

  • 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.

Leader of MHP party hails election victory as a ‘historic day’

  • 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’.

Erdogan win will speed up reforms, minister says

  • Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, who is charged with overseeing the economy, says Erdogan’s victory has set the stage for speeding up reforms.

  • Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci also said Turkey would continue fiscal policies that have created “outstanding” growth.

Erdogan receives congratulations

  • 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.

Erdogan supporters cheer in front of Turkey’s ruling AK Party headquarters in Istanbul [Goran Tomasevic/Reuters]

Erdogan declares victory

  • 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.

    AK Party supporters celebrate in the capital, Ankara [Stoyan Nenov/Reuters]
  • 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.

Government spokesman: Erdogan re-elected

  • 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.

Parliamentary race – 94.17 percent of 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

  • Source: Anadolu Agency

Presidential race – 94.83 percent of votes counted

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 52.83 percent

  • Muharrem Ince: 30.68 percent

  • Selahattin Demirtas: 7.96 percent

  • Meral Aksener: 7.44 percent

  • Source: Anadolu Agency

New system, unanswered questions 

  • 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.”

AK Party Spokesman calls elections ‘a celebration of democracy’

  • “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.”

Presidential race – 91.83 percent of votes counted

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 53.12 percent

  • Muharrem Ince: 30.54 percent

  • Meral Aksener: 7.78 percent

  • Selahattin Demirtas: 7.47 percent

  • Source: Anadolu Agency

Ince calls on observers not to leave ballot boxes

    • 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.

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!

Parliamentary race – 85.04 percent of votes counted

  • 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

  • Source: Anadolu Agency

Erdogan supporters celebrate

  • 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.

    Supporters of Erdogan at the AK Party headquarters in Istanbul [Goran Tomasevic/Reuters]

Presidential race – 86.18 percent of votes counted

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 53.73 percent

  • Muharrem Ince: 30.02 percent

  • Meral Aksener: 7.49 percent

  • Selahattin Demirtas: 7.49 percent

  • Source: Anadolu Agency
  • If no candidate wins more than 50 percent in Sunday’s vote, a second round runoff will be held on July 8.

    AK Party supporters wave flags in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul [Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters]

HDP exceeds parliamentary threshold

  • With 71.18 percent of the votes counted, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has gained 10.09 percent, crossing over the 10 percent threshold required to enter into assembly.
  • People’s Alliance (AK Party – MHP): 55.81 percent

  • Source: Anadolu Agency

Presidential race – 71.36 percent of votes counted

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 55.02 percent

  • Muharrem Ince: 29.45 percent

  • Meral Aksener: 7.48 percent

  • Selahattin Demirtas: 6.95 percent

  • Source: Anadolu Agency

Opposition accuse Anadolu Agency of ‘manipulation’

  • 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.

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.

  • The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) also blamed the state-run Anadolu for what it claims is a manipulation of the early election results.
  • “Let us not leave the ballot boxes, let us protect our votes until the last moment,” the party said on Twitter.

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.

Parliamentary race – 57.82 percent of votes counted

  • People’s Alliance (AK Party – MHP): 57.18 percent

  • Nation Alliance (CHP – IYI Party – SP): 31.84 percent

  • HDP: 9.7 percent

  • Source: Anadolu Agency

Presidential race – 60 percent of votes counted

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 55.88 percent

  • Muharrem Ince: 28.97 percent

  • Meral Aksener: 7.45 percent

  • Selahattin Demirtas: 6.49 percent

  • Source: Anadolu Agency

Half of presidential votes counted

  • Erdogan leads with 56.5 percent after half of the presidential votes have been counted, state media reported.

Main opposition attacks state media over election results coverage

  • 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.

Erdogan’s AK Party leads parliamentary vote

  • 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

  • Source: Anadolu Agency

More than 80 percent voter turnout for dual election

  • According to state broadcaster TRT, voter turnout in the presidential election was 86.82 percent, while participation in the parliamentary vote was 87 percent.

Supreme Election Board vows to investigate vote-rigging claims in southeastern province

  • 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.

8.1 percent of parliamentary votes counted

  • People’s Alliance (AK Party – MHP): 67.06 percent

  • Nation Alliance (CHP – IYI Party – SP): 23.64 percent 

  • HDP: 6.82 percent

  • Source: Anadolu Agency

State media: Erdogan leads presidential elections after 20 percent vote count

  • 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).

No consensus on presidential system

  • 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.”

Explainer: Turkey’s pivotal elections

  • 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.


Ince calls for protection of ballot boxes

  • 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”.

    Ince speaks to supporters in Istanbul on Saturday [Huseyin Aldemir/Reuters]

Voting ends

  • 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.

Opposition momentum 

  • 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.”

Election board to investigate vote-rigging allegations

  • 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.

More than 56 million voters are eligible to cast their votes in more than 180,000 ballot boxes across Turkey [Umut Uras/Al Jazeera]

‘I hope for change’

  • “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.”

Huriye Kumral, 64, retired engineer living in Kadikoy, Istanbul [Umut Uras/Al Jazeera] 

Incumbent president casts vote 

  • 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 Tayyip Erdogan has served as president since 2014 [Reuters]

Only female presidential candidate casts vote

  • Meral Aksener, leader of the newly-established Iyi Party casts her vote in Istanbul.
Meral Aksener, leader of the Iyi (Good) Party, is the only female presidential candidate running the June 24 election [Reuters]

Main opposition party candidate casts vote

  • 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.

Republican People’s Party’s presidential candidate Muharrem Ince vowed change at giant rally in opposition stronghold Izmir last week [Anadolu]

‘I want a different government’

  • “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.”

Veysel Emre Yersel, 37, estate agent in Istanbul’s Kadikoy [Umut Uras/Al Jazeera] 

‘I vote for stability’

  • “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.

Ramazan Unal, 39, waiter in Istanbul’s Kadikoy [Umut Uras/Al Jazeera]

Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim casts ballot in Izmir

  • 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. 

Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim is a member of Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party [Anadolu]

Pro-Kurdish HDP party votes pivotal

  • 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.


Peaceful voting

  • 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.

More than 56 million voters are eligible to cast their votes in more than 180,000 ballot boxes across Turkey [Anadolu]

Possible second round on July 8

  • 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.

High turnout expected

  • 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.

For the first time, the presidential and parliamentary ballots will be placed in a single envelope [Anadolu]

Electoral blocs and presidential candidates

  • 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.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seeking a powerful new executive presidency [Reuters]
  • 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.

Polls open for 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections

  • 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.

Source : Al Jazeera


More from News
Most Read