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, Al Jazeera
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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!”
French President Emmanuel Macron said France and Turkey “will continue to move forward”.
“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.
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.
“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.