President Erdogan says 'well ahead' in election race as Türkiye awaits final results
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the People's Alliance is "well ahead" in Sunday's parliamentary and presidential elections, though final results have yet to be announced, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
"Our country has completed another festival of democracy with the May 14 elections. Although the exact results are not clear yet, we are well ahead," Erdogan said in an address to the nation from the balcony of his Justice and Development (AK) Party's headquarters in the capital Ankara.
His remarks came after millions of voters went to the polls on Sunday to elect the country's next president and the members of its 600-seat parliament.
Underlining that he expected his alliance's lead to widen when the final results were released, Erdogan said he had around 2.6 million more votes than his closest competitor Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and joint candidate for the six-party opposition Nation Alliance.
Underscoring the large turnout in the elections, Erdogan said the figure was "one of the highest in our history."
"I would like to express my gratitude to each of my citizens who went to the polls with a record turnout and reflected their preferences for the future of their country and themselves," he said.
The president stressed that he respected the popular will and expects the "same democratic maturity" from everyone.
"Our country has a functioning that sets an example for the world in terms of both the exercise of political rights and freedoms and the reliability of the electoral system," Erdogan said.
*He added that the decision of voters in the country would be clear when unofficial final results are announced.
"If our nation's decision shows that the presidential election is over, there's no problem. If our nation has made its choice in favor of a second round in the election, it is welcome to do so.
"We believe we'll finish this round with over 50% of the votes," Erdogan said.
Stressing that votes cast in the country and abroad were still being counted, Erdogan called on his supporters to be "vigilant" until the tally process was over.
On the presidential ballot, voters chose between Erdogan, Kilicdaroglu, and Sinan Ogan of the ATA (Ancestral) Alliance. Muharrem Ince, another presidential contender, withdrew from the race on Thursday.