Erdogan 'wins' Turkey's presidential election - unofficial results

In the June 24 elections 56.39 million Turkish citizens are voting in total – 53.34 million in Turkey and 3.05 million abroad

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won tightly-contested presidential polls, the election authority said Monday, extending his 15-year grip on power as the opposition complained bitterly about the conduct of the vote count.

As of 15:50 GMT, Erdogan is leading in the polls with almost 60 percent of the vote after 20 percent of the ballot boxes were opened.

However, the first results had been expected to give Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted party a strong lead and it is expected to shorten as more votes are tallied across the nation of 81 million people.

The main opposition party did not immediately concede defeat.

In particular, the collapse of agriculture, a plunge in the value of the lira and a sudden rise in food prices may deliver Erdogan a shock at the polls, Opposition party workers say.

"Our people have given us the job of carrying out the presidential and executive posts", said Erdogan in a speech from Istanbul.

More than 56 million Turkish citizens are eligible to vote.

The voting marked the first time Turkish voters cast their ballots in simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections, in line with the constitutional changes approved in a referendum a year ago that will transform the country's parliamentary system to an executive presidential one.

Erdogan's victory paves the way for another five-year term.

An unexpectedly strong showing by the AK Party´s alliance partner, the nationalist MHP, could translate into a stable parliamentary majority Erdogan seeks to govern freely.

In the new era, the presidential office will have the power to appoint vice presidents, ministers, high-level officials and senior judges.

Broadcasters had earlier reported that Erdogan had 52.8 percent of the vote, with 95.1 percent of the votes counted in the presidential election. Earlier, he accused Anadolu Agency of reporting votes from areas that favored Erdogan to undermine opposition morale.

People arrive at a polling station to vote in snap twin Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections in the Kurdish stronghold of Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey on June 24, 2018.

"With these elections, Turkey is achieving a virtual democratic revolution", Erdogan told reporters after he cast his vote.

Recent changes to electoral laws allow civil servants to lead ballot box committees.

The statement also said Aliyev invited Erdogan on an official visit to Azerbaijan, and Erdogan accepted.

A count of nearly over 95 percent for the parliamentary election also showed that Erdogan's AKP - along with its Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) allies - were well ahead and set for an overall majority.

But he faces a serious challenge from Muharrem Ince of the CHP, the Republicans People Party. The opposition nationalist Iyi (Good) party received 10 percent.

Turnout at the elections hovered around an extraordinary 87% of the electorate, exceeding that of last year's referendum.

The stakes in this election are particularly high as the new president is the first to enjoy enhanced powers under a new constitution agreed in an April 2017 referendum strongly backed by Erdogan.

Turkey will also be electing 600 politicians to parliament - 50 more than in the previous assembly.

Erdogan has declared himself an "enemy of interest rates", raising fears he will pressure the central bank to cut borrowing costs after the election despite double-digit inflation.

The president's critics, including the European Union which Turkey still nominally aspires to join, say Erdogan has used the crackdown to stifle dissent.

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