President Tayyip Erdogan and supporters on Monday revelled in an election victory lengthening his rule into a third decade while Türkiye’s opposition, which once counted on winning, braced for “difficult days” against an increasingly autocratic government.
His rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu said it was “the most unfair election in years” but did not dispute the outcome, which gave Erdogan a mandate to pursue policies that have polarised Turkey and strengthened its position as a regional military power.
The election had been seen as Erdogan’s biggest political challenge, with the opposition confident of unseating him and reversing his policies after polls showed a cost-of-living crisis left him vulnerable.
But he prevailed with 52.2% of the vote to Kilicdaroglu’s 47.8%. It reinforced Erdogan’s image of invincibility in the deeply divided NATO-member country, whose foreign, economic and security policy he has redrawn.