Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become Turkey’s first popularly-elected head of state after winning a presidential election on Sunday, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on his Twitter account. “The chairman of the AK Party and the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has become the first president elected by the people,” Bozdag wrote. His office confirmed the message was published on his official account.
Erdogan was set to win 54.1% of the vote, way ahead of his main opposition rival Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu on 37.4%, Turkish television channels said, in results based on a 60% vote count. The third contender, Kurdish candidate Selahattin Demirtas, was set for 8.5% of the vote.
If the trend is continued, the result will mark a personal triumph for Erdogan, who has promised to be a powerful president with a beefed-up mandate, in contrast to the ceremonial role fulfilled by his recent predecessors.
The polls are the first time Turkey has directly elected its president, who was previously chosen by parliament.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th,2014.
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