World leaders have congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after he won re-election in a historic run-off that posed the biggest challenge to his 20 years in power.
Erdogan won Turkey’s presidency with 52.14 percent of the votes, said the head of the Supreme Election Council, Ahmet Yener, on Sunday, making the results official.
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With 99.43 percent of ballot boxes opened, Erdogan’s rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu received 47.86 percent of votes, Yener said. With a gap of more than two million votes between candidates, the rest of the uncounted ballots will not change the result, he added.
The elections, in which more than 64 million Turks at home and abroad were entitled to vote, took place against a background of a cost-of-living crisis that saw inflation peak at 85 percent in October and earthquakes in February that killed more than 50,000 people.
Erdogan, 69, who came to power in 2003, initially as prime minister, offered a vision of further development, promising to extend the improvements made by his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government.
NATO member Turkey’s longest-serving leader was tested like never before in what was widely seen as the country’s most consequential election in its 100-year history as a post-Ottoman republic.
Without formally conceding defeat, Kilicdaroglu said: “My real sadness is about the difficulties awaiting the country.”
Here are some of the reactions from other countries and organisations:
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has congratulated Erdogan on his reelection as president.
“He looks forward to further strengthening the cooperation between Türkiye and the United Nations,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
Maulvi Abdul Kabir, the caretaker prime minister, said: “I congratulate President Erdogan on winning the Turkish election and on being elected president of Turkey.”
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune congratulated Erdogan on winning a new term.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said he looked forward to working towards “full normalisation” between the two countries.
Congratulations to President @RTErdogan on his re-election. Looking forward to continuing working together towards full normalisation of relations between our countries.
— Nikol Pashinyan (@NikolPashinyan) May 28, 2023
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev congratulated Erdogan in a phone call and invited him to Baku.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wished Erdogan a “good term with a lot of work” for the Turkish people.
Lula wrote on Twitter that Erdogan can “count on Brazil’s partnership in global cooperation for peace, in the fight against poverty and for the development of the world”.
EU Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen congratulated Erdogan on winning an election run-off on Sunday.
“Congratulations @RTErdogan for your reelection as President of Türkiye. I look forward to working with you again to deepen EU-TR relations in the years to come,” Michel said in a tweet.
Congratulations @RTErdogan for your reelection as President of Türkiye.
I look forward to working with you again to deepen 🇪🇺-🇹🇷 relations in the years to come.
— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) May 28, 2023
Von der Leyen also tweeted her congratulations.
“I look forward to continue building the EU-Türkiye relationship. It is of strategic importance for both the EU and Türkiye to work on advancing this relationship, for the benefit of our people,” she said in a tweet.
I congratulate @RTErdogan on winning the elections.
I look forward to continue building the EU-Türkiye relationship.
It is of strategic importance for both the EU and Türkiye to work on advancing this relationship, for the benefit of our people.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) May 28, 2023
French President Emmanuel Macron said France and Turkey “will continue to move forward”.
La France et la Turquie ont d'immenses défis à relever ensemble. Retour de la paix en Europe, avenir de notre Alliance euro-atlantique, mer Méditerranée. Avec le Président Erdogan, que je félicite pour sa réélection, nous continuerons à avancer.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 28, 2023
“France and Turkey have huge challenges to face together. Return of peace to Europe, future of our Euro-Atlantic Alliance, Mediterranean Sea. With President Erdogan, whom I congratulate on his re-election, we will continue to move forward,” Macron wrote on Twitter.
In congratulating Erdogan, Chancellor Olaf Scholz noted how “deeply intertwined” the people and economies of both countries are, adding that “together we want to advance our common agenda with a fresh impetus!”
Germany and Türkiye are close partners and allies, our people and economies are deeply intertwined. Congratulations to President Erdoğan – together we want to advance our common agenda with a fresh impetus!
— Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (@Bundeskanzler) May 28, 2023
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban hailed Erdogan’s “unquestionable election victory!”
— Orbán Viktor (@PM_ViktorOrban) May 28, 2023
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi called Erdogan’s re-election “a sign of continued valuable trust of Turkish people”.
“Our relationship with Turkey in the next stage will continue on the basis of good neighbourliness and shared interests,” he added.
Israel’s President Isaac Herzog said he was “convinced” that he and Erdogan “will continue to work together to strengthen and expand the good ties” between their countries.
— Office of the President of Israel (@IsraelPresident) May 28, 2023
Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah described Erdogan’s “election victory” as a renewal of the Turkish people’s confidence in the president’s successful projects and policies.
Dbeibah’s Tripoli-based Government of National Unity is backed by Turkey against an eastern-based rival government.
Malta’s Foreign Minister Ian Borg said: “Our heartfelt congratulations on this important victory for President Erdogan”.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also took to Twitter to congratulate Erdogan on his election victory.
“Congratulations President (Erdogan) on your re-election. I look forward to continuing our work together and preparing for the NATO summit in July,” he tweeted.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said in a tweet that Erdogan’s re-election was a “historic” one.
“He has been a pillar of strength for the oppressed Muslims & a fervent voice for their inalienable rights,” he said.
Heartiest congratulations to my dear brother H.E. President @RTErdogan on his historic re-election as President, Republic of Turkiye. He is one of few world leaders whose politics has been anchored in public service. He has been a pillar of strength for the oppressed Muslims & a…
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) May 28, 2023
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh lauded Erdogan and the Turkish people for their “election victory”.
The head of Hamas’s political office Ismail Haniyeh said: “I congratulate President Erdogan on winning and I applaud the [Turkish] people’s civilised stance. We look forward to [their] support for our cause and our Jerusalem.”
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani wished Erdogan success in his new term.
أخي العزيز رجب طيب أردوغان مبارك لكم الفوز، وأتمنى لك التوفيق في ولايتك الجديدة، وأن تحقق فيها ما يطمح له الشعب التركي الشقيق من تقدم ورخاء، ولعلاقات بلدينا القوية مزيداً من التطور والنماء.
— تميم بن حمد (@TamimBinHamad) May 28, 2023
Translation: My dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan, congratulations on your victory. I wish you success in your new term, and that you achieve through it what the Turkish people aspire to in terms of progress and prosperity, and progress and growth for our strong bilateral relations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Erdogan’s victory was evidence that the Turkish people appreciated his “selfless work” and independent foreign policy.
“The election victory was a natural result of your selfless work as the head of the Republic of Turkey, clear evidence of the support of the Turkish people for your efforts to strengthen state sovereignty and conduct an independent foreign policy,” Putin said in a message to Erdogan, according to the Kremlin.
“We highly appreciate your personal contribution to the strengthening of friendly Russian-Turkish relations and mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas,” Putin said.
Ruler King Salman congratulated Erdogan on his presidential win, state news agencies reported.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic congratulated Erdogan and the Turkish people for their “election victory”.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the military commander leading Sudan’s army against the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, congratulated Erdogan on winning a new term.
Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson extended his congratulations via Twitter, stressing that the two countries’ security “is a future priority”.
Erdogan’s government vetoed Sweden’s bid to join NATO after accusing Stockholm of providing safe haven to members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, both of which Ankara considers “terrorist” groups.
Congratulations @RTErdogan on your re-election. Our common security is a future priority.
— SwedishPM (@SwedishPM) May 28, 2023
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy congratulated Erdogan on his victory and said he hoped for a “strengthening of the strategic partnership for the benefit of our countries, as well as the strengthening of cooperation for the security and stability of Europe”.
Erdogan’s government had purchased Russian missile-defence systems, which prompted the United States to oust Turkey from a US-led fighter-jet project. But Ankara also helped broker a crucial deal that has allowed Ukrainian grain shipments and averted a global food crisis.
United Arab Emirates
UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was among leaders to congratulate Erdogan in the Middle East, where he has asserted Turkish influence, at times with military power.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he looked forward to continuing the “strong collaboration” between the UK and Turkey including “tackling security threats as NATO allies”.
Congratulations to @RTErdogan. I look forward to continuing the strong collaboration between our countries, from growing trade to tackling security threats as NATO allies.
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) May 28, 2023
United States’ President Joe Biden and top diplomat Antony Blinken have sent their congratulations to Erdogan for his victory.
“I look forward to continuing to work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges,” Biden said in a tweet.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Turkey “a valued @NATO Ally and partner.”
“I look forward to our continued work together with the government chosen by the Turkish people,” he said.
Blinken also praised Sunday’s high turnout rate and the country’s “long democratic tradition.”
Congratulations to President Erdogan on re-election and to Türkiye’s voters on high turnout, reflecting a long democratic tradition. Türkiye is a valued @NATO Ally and partner. I look forward to our continued work together with the government chosen by the Turkish people.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) May 28, 2023
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he celebrated the “triumph” of “brother and friend” Erdogan.