Turkey’s Erdogan claims election victory

Turkey’s Erdogan claims election victory. By Ece Toksabay.

Sunday’s vote ushers in a powerful new executive presidency long sought by Erdogan and backed by a small majority of Turks in a 2017 referendum. Critics say it will further erode democracy in the NATO member state and entrench one-man rule.

Erdogan’s victory paves the way for another five-year term. Under the new constitution, he could serve a further term from 2023, taking him to 2028. …

With 99 percent of votes counted in the presidential race, Erdogan had 52.5 percent, well ahead of Ince’s 31 percent, broadcasters said.

The opposition raised doubts about the accuracy and reliability of the figures released by state-run Anadolu news agency, the sole distributor of the official vote tally. …

Turkey held Sunday’s elections under a state of emergency declared after a failed military coup in July 2016 that Erdogan blamed on his former ally, U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

It limits some freedoms and allows the government to bypass parliament with decrees, although Erdogan says he will soon lift the measure.

Since the coup attempt, Erdogan has waged a sweeping crackdown on Gulen’s followers in Turkey, detaining some 160,000 people, according to the United Nations.

Turkey elections votes RIGGED: Police find car full of FORGED ballot papers.