World leaders congratulated Turkiye 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 Turkiye’s presidency in a runoff election with 52.14 percent of the votes, the High Election Board head Ahmet Yener said on Sunday, making the results official.
With 99.43 percent of ballot boxes opened, Erdogan’s rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu received 47.86 percent of the votes, Yener said. With a gap of more than 2 million votes between candidates, the rest of the uncounted votes 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.
Erdogan’s opponent, Kilicdaroglu, cobbled together a powerful coalition that grouped the president’s disenchanted former allies with secular nationalists and religious conservatives.
“I invite all my citizens to cast their ballot in order to get rid of this authoritarian regime and bring true freedom and democracy to this country,” Kilicdaroglu said after voting in the run-off.
Here is how other countries have reacted to the developments:
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.
US President Joe Biden is the latest world leader to congratulate Erdogan on the election win. The United States and Turkey have had a rocky relationship over the last few years, with significant differences over Syria and Turkey’s purchase of a missile system from Russia, although tensions have since eased.
Congratulations to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Türkiye on his re-election.
I look forward to continuing to work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 28, 2023
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani wished Erdogan success in his new term.
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.
The country’s 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”.
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.
In a tweet, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban congratulated Erdogan “on his unquestionable election victory!”
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh lauded Erdogan and the Turkish people for their “election victory”.
The head of Hamas’ political office Ismail Hanieh 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.”
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev congratulated Erdogan in a phone call and invited him to Baku.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic congratulated Erdogan and the Turkish people for their “election victory”.
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.
Maulvi Abdul Kabir, the caretaker prime minister, said: “I congratulate President Erdogan on winning the Turkish election and on being elected president of Turkey.”
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the military commander leading the army against the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, congratulated Erdogan on winning a new term.
Malta’s Foreign Minister Ian Borg said: “Our heartfelt congratulations on this important victory for President Erdogan”.
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.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune congratulated Erdogan on winning a new term.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he celebrated the “triumph” of “brother and friend” Erdogan.
United Arab Emirates
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed 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.
Brazil’s President Lula da Silva congratulated Turkey’s E
rdogan on his re-election, wishing him a ‘good term’.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES
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