Türkiye, its democracy are winners, President Erdogan says after historic runoff victory

| 29.05,23. 05:26 PM |

Türkiye, its democracy are winners, President Erdogan says after historic runoff victory

All of Türkiye and its democracy won, said Recep Tayyip Erdogan after he was reelected president in Sunday's runoff polls.

"We are not the only winners. Türkiye is the winner. Our nation with all its segments is the winner. Our democracy is the winner," Erdogan said, addressing thousands of his supporters gathered in front of the presidential complex in the capital Ankara.

"No one has lost today. All 85 million (people) have won...It is now time to unite and integrate around our national goals and national dreams, leaving aside all the debates and conflicts regarding the election period," he added.

Erdogan's reelection was confirmed by Ahmet Yener, the chairman of the country's Supreme Election Council (YSK), on Sunday evening.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Yener said Erdogan won Türkiye's presidency over opposition challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the second-round runoff vote.

According to unofficial results, the Turkish incumbent won the race with 52.14%, while Kilicdaroglu got 47.86% of the vote, he said. He added that 99.43% of the ballot boxes have been opened so far.

In the first round of the election on May 14, no candidate got the 50% needed for an outright victory, triggering the presidential runoff, though Erdogan took the lead with 49.52%. Parliamentary elections were also held that day, with Erdogan's electoral alliance winning a majority of seats.

"In one of the most important elections of our multi-party political history, our nation made its decision in favor of the 'Century of Türkiye,'” said Erdogan.

"In the first round of the elections, our nation had already demonstrated its legislative preference by giving the majority of the members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly to the People's Alliance.”

The president also thanked each and every member of the nation who gave him the responsibility to govern the country for the next five years.

"I would like to thank all of my citizens who stood up for their will and proved the strength of our democracy by going to the polls at home and abroad, regardless of which party or candidate they chose on May 14 or May 28," he said.

Erdogan vowed to devote all his time and energy to work, serving the country.

"Healing the wounds of the Feb. 6 earthquakes, the disaster of the century, and restoring our demolished cities will continue to be at the top of our priorities," he added.

Turning to the economy, he said addressing problems caused by inflation is the "most urgent" priority.

"We will continue with confidence and stability. We are planning a production-based economy focused on internationally-reputed financial management, investment and employment," he added.

Erdogan also promised to implement a system that will reduce input prices in agriculture and livestock, increase producer income, and facilitate consumer access.

Return of Syrian refugees

On the voluntary return of Syrian refugees, Erdogan said: "So far, we have facilitated the voluntary return of nearly 600,000 people to safe areas on Syrian territory.

"Through a new resettlement project we are carrying out with Qatar, we will ensure the return of 1 million more people in a few years."

More than 3.7 million Syrians currently reside in Türkiye, making it the world's top refugee-hosting country.

Following the start of a civil war in Syria in 2011, Türkiye adopted an "open-door" policy for Syrians fleeing persecution and brutality.

Syria has been embroiled in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN estimates.

Meanwhile, at the presidential complex, Erdogan's supporters celebrated his election victory by singing songs written for the president.

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