Recep Tayyip Erdogan wins Turkish presidential election

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: "I would like to thank everyone who voted"

Related Stories

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won his country's first direct presidential election.

With almost all the votes counted, Mr Erdogan had won about 52%, against 38% for main rival Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

The huge margin of victory means there is no need for a run-off.

Mr Erdogan, who has vowed to bolster the power of the president, promised supporters a "social reconciliation period", saying: "Let's leave the old discussions in the old Turkey."

He added in the speech in Ankara: "Today, not only those who love us, but also those who don't have won. Today Turkey has won."

The veteran leader, who has spent three terms as prime minister, is revered by supporters for boosting the economy and giving a voice to conservatives.

But his critics lament his authoritarian approach and Islamist leanings in a secular state, says the BBC's Mark Lowen in Ankara.

After the provisional results were announced Mr Ihsanoglu, joint candidate for the two main opposition parties, said: "I congratulate the prime minister and wish him success."

A supporter tries to touch PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan (10 August 2014) Supporters rushed to touch Recep Tayyip Erdogan after he cast his vote in Istanbul

Mr Erdogan has been prime minister since 2003 and was barred from standing for another term.

He needed more than 50% of the vote for an outright victory, avoiding a second round.

Our correspondent says turnout appears to be much lower than expected - some voters may have been dissuaded by the summer heat and holidays.

Turkey - wedged between the turmoil of Iraq, Syria and Ukraine - is an important ally for the West, our correspondent adds, and whoever becomes head of state will hold a key geopolitical position.

Mr Erdogan's other rival, Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, took about 9% of the vote.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features

  • Children in Africa graphicBaby steps

    Why are more children in Africa living beyond five?


  • Olive oil and olivesFood myth

    Did 1950s Britain get its olive oil from a pharmacy?


  • Rio Ferdinand and David Moyes'Playing to win'

    Memorable quotes from sporting autobiographies BBC Sport


  • Hand washing to contain Ebola in LiberiaEbola virus

    More action is needed to tackle Ebola, say experts


  • shadow of people kissing on grassOutdoor love

    Should the police intervene when people have sex in public?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.