Published: Fri, June 29, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Turkey: Opposition Ince Concedes Election Defeat to Erdogan

Turkey: Opposition Ince Concedes Election Defeat to Erdogan

After election results on June 24 Turkey will be further dragged into authoritarian politics with the blend of Islamism and nationalism emerging as the new state ideology.

"We're good", Erdogan said an hour earlier in Istanbul, though he declined to speculate on the outcome.

Prominent pollster Gezici predicted that with 48 per cent of votes, Erdogan would just fall short of the 50 per cent mark needed to secure a first-round victory.

Even with the Turkish lira in freefall and the interest rates skyrocketing, he won a 52.5% of the vote.

"As the election observation mission by OSCE/ODIHR assesses, the voters had a genuine choice, but the conditions for campaigning were not equal", the joint statement said, referring to the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won Turkey's presidential election Sunday to stay in power for at least five more years.

Polls are undecided about whether the AKP can meet that goal. Allying with the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) 48 seats gives them complete parliamentary rule. He looked set to win easily in a presidential race and in parliament in alliance with the nationalists, projecting an image of a commander-in-chief fighting external enemies inside Turkey and across the border in Syria, and triumphant against terror groups. Opposition leaders in the Republican People's Party say that they plan to challenge the election results in court. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe described in its preliminary report an electoral system to which the governing party had been free to introduce hasty changes, a gerrymandered map of parliamentary constituencies, laws that criminalize harsh criticism of the president and limit his own criminal responsibility, restrictions on the freedom of assembly in some provinces and police harassment of some opposition forces, such as the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP).

She said one of the key roles for their volunteers will be to ensure election officials stamp all ballots. The voters asserted the unchallenged popularity of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is the longest-serving Turkish leader since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.

In his supreme moment of triumph, nonetheless, Erdoğan's unfettered power will not necessarily help him weather the storms ahead: a vulnerable, indebted and overheated economy with rising inflation and a falling currency; poisonous relations with Turkey's traditional allies in the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation; and perilous military incursions into the neighbouring maelstroms of Syria and Iraq.

Only in the final week before the election was Demirtas able to twice make appearances on TV.

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The AKP rule has always accorded great priority to the municipal elections because municipalities are important channels for creating links with the grassroots.

Kalin's slap drew cheers from his supporters on Twitter and, back in the US, Schiff's comment drew a mixed reaction. Imagine if Ramaphosa ended next year's election campaign having secured 181 hours of airtime, the DA only 15 hours, and the IFP a mere three hours, as was the situation for Turkey's opposition parties. Turkey's economy is in bad shape and getting worse: inflation is high, and its currency remains unsteady.

Beyond the media blackout for opposition candidates, the AKP seemed to be doing everything it could to make sure HDP wouldn't pass the threshold. Turkish people have spoken up. And the last one says: "Down with freedoms!" One of the candidates for the election campaigned from prison.

In a telegram earlier Monday, Putin had "stressed that the results of the vote fully speak of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's great political authority (and) mass support of the course conducted under his leadership to solve Turkey's pressing social and economic tasks (and) strengthen the country's position in the global arena".

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