Tracking cookies

To make our website even easier and more personal, we use cookies (and similar techniques). With these cookies we and third parties can collect information about you and monitor your internet behavior within (and possibly also outside) our website. If you agree with this, we will place these tracking cookies.

Yes, I give permissionNo thanks
Logo

AP: Erdogan confirmed his leadership in Turkey and is ready for new political challenges

29-5-2023 |

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a mandate to rule until 2028, securing five more years as leader of a country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia that plays a key role in NATO. He must now confront skyrocketing inflation that has fueled a cost-of-living crisis and rebuild in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people.

Erdogan secured more than 52% of the vote in Sunday’s presidential runoff, two weeks after he fell short of scoring an outright victory in the first round.


Photo: AP / Ali Unal

His opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, had sought to reverse Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian leanings, promising to return to democratic norms, adopt more conventional economic policies and improve ties with the West. But in the end, voters chose the man they see as a strong, proven leader.

Erdogan thanked the nation for entrusting him with the presidency again in two speeches he delivered in Istanbul and Ankara.

“The only winner today is Turkey,” Erdogan said outside the presidential palace in Ankara, promising to work hard for Turkey’s second century, which he called the “Turkish century.” The country marks its centennial this year.

Kilicdaroglu said the election was “the most unjust ever,” with all state resources mobilized for Erdogan.

“We will continue to be at the forefront of this struggle until real democracy comes to our country,” he said in Ankara.

Supporters of Erdogan, a divisive populist and masterful orator, took to the streets to celebrate, waving Turkish or ruling party flags, honking car horns and chanting his name. Celebratory gunfire was heard in several Istanbul neighborhoods.

Western politicians said they are ready to continue working with Erdogan despite years of sometimes tense relations. Most imminently, Turkey holds the cards for Sweden’s hopes to join NATO. The bid aims to strengthen the military alliance against Russia. Turkey is also central to the continuity of a deal to allow Ukrainian grain shipments and avert a global food crisis.

In his victory remarks, Erdogan said rebuilding the quake-struck cities would be his priority.

He also said a million Syrian refugees would go back to Turkish-controlled “safe zones” in Syria as part of a resettlement project being run with Qatar.

Source: AP