In elections considered the most important since the founding of the Turkish Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdogan succeeded in winning another term, becoming Turkey’s longest-serving leader. After announcing the results, Erdogan said that he would fulfill his promises, while congratulations came from many world leaders and leaders.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a new term on Sunday in an unprecedented ballot, extending his two-decade rule until 2028. The 69-year-old Erdogan overcame Turkey’s worst economic crisis in a generation and the strongest opposition coalition he has faced, leaving his electoral record unbeaten. .
After declaring Erdogan’s victory, celebrations spread throughout Turkey, as world leaders congratulated him, and Erdogan gave his first speech from the roof of a bus in Istanbul.
“Our nation entrusted us with the responsibility of ruling the country for the next five years,” he said, amid a crowd of his supporters in front of his residence in the city. Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey for twenty years, added, “We will fulfill all the promises we made to the people,” stressing that “every electoral process is a renaissance.” He continued, “These elections showed that no one can attack the gains of this nation,” adding, “God willing, we deserve your confidence.”
In a second speech delivered from the presidential palace in Ankara in front of hundreds of thousands of his supporters, Erdogan called on the Turks to “unity and solidarity,” and said: “We leave aside political differences and call for unity and solidarity… We call for that with all our heart.” The semi-final results showed that he beat his secular rival, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, by four percentage points.
World leaders and leaders congratulate Erdogan
In international reactions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Erdogan’s re-election shows the Turks’ support for “your efforts to strengthen state sovereignty and pursue an independent foreign policy.”
US President Joe Biden also congratulated the Turkish president on his re-election, saying via Twitter: “I look forward to continuing to work together as NATO allies on bilateral issues and common global challenges.” As for former US President Donald Trump, he praised Erdogan’s “great and well-deserved victory.”
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his aspiration to “move forward” in raising common global challenges. Macron was among the first European leaders to congratulate Erdogan, saying that France and Turkey faced “enormous challenges that they face together.”
As for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he hoped to “strengthen the strategic partnership” with Turkey. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also congratulated Turkish President Erdogan. Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement that the secretary-general “looks forward to further strengthening cooperation between Turkey and the United Nations.”
The European Union and Turkey: a complex relationship
On the EU side, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel expressed via Twitter their desire to “further develop EU-Turkey relations.” It is worth noting that Turkey is an official candidate to join the European Union, but accession negotiations that began in 2005 have been stalled for several years. Relations are complex between the European Union and Turkey, but the latter remains an essential partner for the bloc, especially with regard to immigration.
For his part, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg congratulated Erdogan, and said in a tweet, “I look forward to continuing our work and preparing for the NATO summit in Vilnius in July.”
Kilicdaroglu ‘very sad’
As for the opposition leader, who competed with Erdogan in the second round of the elections, he did not officially acknowledge defeat while reciting a brief statement to reporters in Ankara, and said: “I am very sad in the face of the difficulties that await the country.” Kilicdaroglu led a powerful coalition of former Erdogan allies, secular nationalists and conservatives. Kilicdaroglu suffered defeat despite his attempt to attract more voters in his campaign for the second round of elections.
The former civil servant changed his focus from talking about social unity and freedoms to talking more about the need to get immigrants out of the country and combat terrorism, aiming to attract the nationalist right-wing voters who made gains in the parliamentary elections.