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Erdogan Declares Himself Victorious in Turkish Presidential Election

Erdogan Declares Himself Victorious in Turkish Presidential Election


Yes, apparently Turkish dictator President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “won” a second term on Sunday. From The New York Times:

The results released by the official Anadolu news agency showed Mr. Erdogan with just under 53 percent of the vote, enough to spare him from a runoff against his leading challenger, Muharrem Ince, who won nearly 31 percent.

At 10:30 p.m., Mr. Erdogan, 64, gave a short televised speech to applauding supporters at the gates of Huber Pavilion, one of his residences in Istanbul.

“It seems the nation has entrusted me with the duty of the presidency, and to us a very big responsibility in the legislature,” Mr. Erdogan said. “Turkey has given a lesson of democracy with a turnout of close to 90 percent. I hope that some will not provoke to hide their own failure.”

Mr. Erdogan said he would travel to Ankara, the capital, to make his traditional victory speech from the balcony of his party headquarters.

Flag-waving crowds gathered after midnight at the party headquarters, waiting for him to appear. He finally emerged at 3 a.m. Monday.

Mr. Erdogan acknowledged that his own party had taken a hit in the campaign, but said the result was a vindication of his ability to deliver. “The winner is the politics of providing services,” he said. “The winner is the supremacy of the national will. The winner is Turkey, the Turkish nation. The winner is all the aggrieved people in our region, all the oppressed in the world.”

The victory means Mr. Erdogan will almost certainly make good on his desire to become the country’s longest-ruling leader, surpassing Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded the modern Turkish republic out of the ruins of the collapsed Ottoman Empire.

Under the new system brought in by last year’s referendum, Mr. Erdogan can run for a second term as president — and a third, if he were to call an early election — opening the possibility that he could stay in office until 2032.

It wouldn’t shock me if he decides to make more moves to allow him to run for a fourth and a fifth and maybe even a sixth term.


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In a different context, but appropriate to this issue:

“I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how.”

Comrade Party Secretary Stalin, 1923