Tuesday

25th Apr 2017

Divisive Erdogan to become Turkish president

  • Recep Erdogan will become Turkey's first directly elected president after a comfortable win in Sunday's vote. (Photo: Wikipedia/Ekim Caglar)

Outgoing Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will become the country’s first directly elected president after securing a decisive victory in Sunday’s (10 August) poll.

With 99 percent of ballot boxes counted, state-run Anadolu news agency has said that Erdogan got 52 percent of the vote, with his main rivals Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a former diplomat, and Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, taking 38 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

By claiming an absolute majority, Erdogan avoids a second run-off election against Ihsanoglu.

The results are to be formally confirmed on Monday.

In a victory speech to thousands of supporters outside his Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) headquarters on Sunday night, Erdogan said: "I will not be the president of only those who voted for me, I will be the president of 77 million.”

He also promised to “build a new future, with an understanding of a societal reconciliation”.

The 60-year old Erdogan has been prime minister since 2003 and was barred from standing for a fourth term by internal party rules.

But despite being the country’s longest serving leader, Erdogan is seen by many as a divisive figure whose premiership has left Turkey increasingly isolated and set back its chances of progress in EU membership talks.

His critics say that his government and leadership style have become increasingly authoritarian, marked by crackdowns on press and judicial freedom as well as bans on the use of social media sites Twitter and YouTube.

Earlier this year, the US thinktank Freedom House downgraded Turkish press status from "partly free" to "not free" in its yearly report, putting the country in the same bracket as the likes of Zimbabwe and Somalia.

Meanwhile, a new internet law, denounced by EU officials, is set to give the AKP government the right to delete online content, block individual users and snoop on people’s emails.

Erdogan also faced international criticism after using police violence to break up pro-democracy protests in Istanbul last year.

However, despite this, his popularity among millions of Turks remained undimmed, with the AKP easily winning local elections in March just months after a government corruption scandal.

The Turkish presidency had previously been decided by parliament. But a referendum in 2010 introduced direct elections for the head of state, which has, until now, been a largely ceremonial post.

Erdogan has promised to be “an active president” and that he will use “the full extent of his constitutional powers” in the process, leading some to suspect that he will seek to strengthen his grip on power when he takes office at the end of August.

Russia suspected of Macron hack

Likely Russian spies tried to steal email passwords from Macron's people the same way they hacked US elections, new study says.

Investigation

Le Pen-Poutine: des liens qui remontent à loin

La leader du Front National a rencontré le président russe trois fois, et non pas une comme elle l'affirme. Mais l'argent que son parti a obtenu, et sous quelles conditions, restent un mystère.

Russia suspected of Macron hack

Likely Russian spies tried to steal email passwords from Macron's people the same way they hacked US elections, new study says.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  2. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  3. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  4. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  5. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  6. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  7. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  9. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  10. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  11. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsTime to Turn the Tide and End Repression of Central Asia's Civil Society

Latest News

  1. Report: Germany blocks post-Dieselgate reform
  2. Russia suspected of Macron hack
  3. EU to exclude financial services from post-Brexit deal
  4. Le Pen-Poutine: des liens qui remontent à loin
  5. Juncker breaks tradition with support for Macron
  6. Les fake news inondent les réseaux sociaux français
  7. Les amis de Le Pen à la Trump Tower
  8. France's election run-off will be far-right versus EU