Erdogan claims historic victory in Turkish presidential election - but nation remains divided

29 May 2023, 07:27

Erdogan's rule will now continue until 2028
Erdogan's rule will now continue until 2028. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been re-elected as the president of Turkey, extending his rule into a third decade.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Erdogan's rule will now continue until 2028 after he won 52.14 per cent of the votes, with his rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu winning 47.86 per cent.

The divisive leader's success will allow him to pursue increasingly authoritarian policies which have polarised Turkey and strengthened its position as a regional military power.

His challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, called it "the most unfair election in years" but did not dispute the outcome.

Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks in front of his supporters after winning the Turkish presidential elections
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks in front of his supporters after winning the Turkish presidential elections. Picture: Alamy

In a victory speech in Ankara, Erdogan pledged to leave all disputes behind and unite behind national values and dreams.

But he then switched gears, lashing out at the opposition and accusing Kilicdaroglu of siding with terrorists.

He said releasing former pro-Kurdish party leader Selahattin Demirtas, whom he branded a "terrorist," would not be possible under his governance.

Erdogan said inflation was Turkey's most urgent issue.

Read more: Retail chiefs warn Sunak plan to cap supermarket prices will 'lead to shortages and won't work'

Read more: Labour plans to block new North Sea oil and gas developments as Starmer vows to make UK 'clean energy superpower'

World leaders came together to congratulate Erdogan on his victory, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin addressed the Turkish leader as "Dear Friend", praising his efforts at strengthening Russian-Turkish relations.

"From the bottom of my heart I wish you new successes in such a responsible activity as the head of state, as well as good health and well-being," he added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also congratulated him and spoke of the need for the "further strengthening" of Ukraine and Turkey's "strategic" partnership.

UK PM Rishi Sunak tweeted: "Congratulations to @RTErdogan. I look forward to continuing the strong collaboration between our countries, from growing trade to tackling security threats as NATO allies."

US President Joe Biden said: "Congratulations to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Türkiye on his re-election.

"I look forward to continuing to work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Salvatore Mancuso

Warlord Mancuso is extradited back to Colombia after serving sentence in US

Jam Master Jay

Godson and friend convicted in murder of Run-DMC rapper Jam Master Jay

Two men have been convicted over the murder of Jam Master Jay.

Two men found guilty of Run-DMC star Jam Master Jay's murder

Jair Bolsonaro

Bolsonaro under investigation for allegedly harassing a humpback whale

A lawyer who represented 'murdered' Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny has been arrested in Moscow, Russian news has reported

Navalny's lawyer 'arrested in Moscow' after helping Russian opposition leader's mother obtain body from authorities

Former Tory MP Scott Benton has been suspended from the Commons.

Former Tory MP suspended from Commons over role in lobbying sting as Rishi Sunak faces fresh by-election headache

PlayStation is closing its London studio and axing 900 jobs (file image)

PlayStation to axe 900 jobs and close London studio to 'future ready' itself

Zelensky and Mohammed bin Salman

Zelensky meets Saudi crown prince to discuss peace deal and return of POWs

Lady Gabriella Windsor's husband Thomas Kingston has died aged 45

Royal family mourns as Lady Gabriella Windsor's husband Thomas Kingston dies aged 45

Mr Scully apologised for his comments.

'I'm sorry I chose those words': Tory MP Paul Scully apologises after claiming there were 'no-go areas' in some cities

Michael Holt, 54, from the Wirral, was found dead in the boat 700 miles into the charity challenge off the coast of Cape Verde, west Africa

Fundraiser launched to return home British father found dead on boat four weeks into 3,000-mile Atlantic ocean row

A remote track near Pitilie

Murder probe launched after former groundsman shot dead while walking his dog on Scottish estate

David Shuttleworth and Matthew Melling escaped jail despite accidents at their trampoline park

Trampoline park bosses fined after 270 injuries in just two months including 11 broken backs

Henry Staunton (left) was fired as chair of the Post Office last month. He has since engaged in a public row with Business Secretary Kemi Bedenoch (right)

'I am the subject of a smear campaign': Sacked Post Office boss hits out at Kemi Badenoch following public row over exit

Union members protesting in Lagos

Government workers strike over Nigeria’s soaring inflation and economic woes

Prince Andrew led the royals into a memorial service after Prince William was forced to pull out

Smiling Prince Andrew returns to the fold as he leads royals into church after William pulls out