Turkey’s Erdogan seals election win, extending rule

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STORY: Tayyip Erdogan is staying on as President of Turkey after winning the runoff presidential election on Sunday (May 28) with just over 52 percent of the vote.

It was seen as the toughest political challenge yet to his increasingly authoritarian rule, now set to enter its third decade.

Speaking to supporters outside his home in Istanbul before the final results were released, he said “Turkey is the only winner today.”

Thousands of Jubilant Erdogan supporters celebrated in Turkey’s streets.

“We are very happy, we think Erdogan deserved to win. That was what had to happen, there couldn't have been another leader in this country."

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated his "dear friend" on his victory.

The election was seen as one of the most consequential yet for Turkey.

The opposition believed it had a strong chance of unseating Erdogan after his popularity was hit by a cost-of-living crisis. Challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu called it "the most unfair election in years" but did not dispute the outcome.

But Erdogan, who is the head of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, appealed to voters with nationalist and conservative rhetoric.

His record includes having redrawn domestic, economic, security and foreign policy in the NATO member country of 85 million people.

The prospect of five more years of his rule is a major blow to opponents who accuse him of undermining democracy as he has amassed ever more power - a charge he denies.