Turkish press say Erdogan beats Ihsanoglu

Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks set to become Turkey’s next president. Initial election results put the current prime minister on 52 percent. He has promised a ” new Turkey” – something his opponents fear.

Erdogan, who led all through the count, won 52 percent of Sunday’s vote, according to Turkish media. With his victory apparently certain, the pious prime minister headed to the historic Eyup Sultan Mosque in Istanbul for prayer.

“I hope that the final whistle will be blown by the referee, but the stands have made their decision,” Erdogan said on Sunday. “The people have shown their will.”

In a message posted to Twitter, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag wrote that “Erdogan has become the first president elected by the people.”

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the 70-year-old joint candidate of the two largest opposition parties, had just under 39 percent of ballots. Selahattin Demirtas, a 41-year-old human rights lawyer who ran on a center-left platform for the Peoples’ Democratic Party and earned the nickname “the Kurdish Obama,” garnered 9 percent. Erdogan’s two opponents had lagged far behind in pre-election surveys.

Ihsanoglu conceded defeat late Sunday. “I hope that the result is beneficial for democracy in Turkey,” he said. “I congratulate the prime minister and wish him success.”

For the full story: DW.DE

(Photo of Erdogan: Nato)