ANKARA, Turkey: The Turkish incumbent Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won the country’s first direct presidential election as he got almost 52 percent votes cast in the first round of the poll held on Sunday, according to unofficial results.
In his victory speech, the 60-year-old Erdogan promised to build a new future for the nation through societal reconciliation.
Tayyip Erdogan’s main rival Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is reported to have won nearly 39 percent of the vote.
The 71-year-old Ihsanoglu, the former head of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), was the joint candidate of the center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The 41-year-old Selahattin Demirtas, who was also running for president as the candidate of the pro-Kurdish leftist party HDP, reportedly won the third place with slightly more than nine percent votes.
On Sunday, 53 million eligible voters in Turkey cast their votes at more than 165,000 polling stations set up across the country to directly elect their head of state for a five-year term.