Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan swept to a landslide victory in Turkey’s first direct presidential election, extending his 12-year grip on power and securing a mandate to fulfill his pledge of creating a “new Turkey.” The country’s election board announced Mr. Erdogan had won according to preliminary results, obtaining enough votes to avoid a runoff. With 99% of the ballots counted, the premier had secured 52%, far ahead of his nearest opponent Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a diplomat with a low profile in domestic politics who garnered 38% of the vote, according to state-run Anadolu news agency.
In a victory speech to thousands of flag-waving supporters at his governing Justice and Development Party’s Ankara headquarters, Mr. Erdogan called for societal reconciliation after a brutal campaign that was widely seen as hardening divisions across the country. But he also warned his political enemies against undermining Turkish security.
“Without a doubt, new Turkey, great Turkey, leading Turkey has won today. We are closing the doors on one era, and we are now taking our first step to a new phase,” Mr. Erdogan said. “We will face down whoever threatens our national security.”
Full Article: Erdogan Wins Landmark Turkish Election – WSJ.