Wed | Nov 21, 2018

UPDATE: Erdogan claims early victory with unofficial results in Turkey elections

Published:Sunday | June 24, 2018 | 3:51 PM
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkey's long-standing leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan says unofficial results from the presidential elections show he has won outright in the first round.

The BBC reports that Erdogan has 53 per cent, while his closest rival, Muharrem Ince, is on 31 per cent, state media report, with most votes counted.

But the opposition dispute these figures, saying many votes have yet to be counted.

Erdogan also said the governing alliance of his AK Party had secured a majority in parliament.

With 96 per cent of the votes for parliament counted, the president's AK Party leads with 43 per cent of the votes, the state news agency Anadolu reports. The main opposition CHP is on 23 per cent.

Crucially, the pro-Kurdish HDP looks set to reach the 10 per cent threshold and enter parliament. This might have made it harder for Erdogan's party and its ally the MHP to reach a majority, although currently they are on course to do so.

Voter turnout is high, at almost 87 per cent, the state broadcaster says.
As the BBC's Mark Lowen points out, the opposition is disputing the agency's reports of how many ballot boxes have been opened.

Turkey remains under a state of emergency imposed in the aftermath of a failed coup in July 2016.

Around 60 million Turks were eligible to take part in Sunday's dual polls.
In all, there were six candidates on the presidential ballot.

If no one candidate crosses the 50 per cent threshold in an outright win, the top two will face off in a second-round vote on 8 July.