Erdogan claims victory in Turkish election - but opponent disputes, claims manipulation

Election posters show Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan left and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

In a first for the nation, President Erdogan has won sole power of Turkey after beating leading opponent Muharram Ince to the top after a referendum a year ago saw Turkey vote in favour of scrapping their prime minister role.

However, Ince said the results carried on Anadolu were not a true reflection of the official vote count by the country's electoral board.

With almost 80 percent of the country's ballot boxes counted, Erdogan was at 54.3 percent of the vote, with his main rival Muharrem Ince at 29.9 percent, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for 15 years, first as prime minister and since 2014 as president, praised the executive presidency that comes into force after the election. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he expects the level of development of his country to reach the levels of Russian Federation and the United States.

Supporters of Turkey's President and ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrate outside the party headquarters in Istanbul, June 24, 2018.

But he faces a major challenge from centre-left candidate Muharrem Ince of the Republican People's Party (CHP).

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A broad coalition led by Ince is also challenging the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in parliament, where the president's allies have governed for more than a decade. Eight parties are bidding for 600 parliamentary seats. If no one gets over 50% of support, a runoff election will be held.

Following the failed coup, Turkey has been under a state of emergency for almost two years and has seen a widespread crackdown on alleged supporters of Gulen.

Akyol also underlined that the fact that Ince secured a significantly higher percentage as a presidential candidate than the CHP in the parliamentary polls - about eight percentage points higher - "might open the way for him to become" the main opposition party's chairman.

It says more than 350 of its election workers have been detained since April 28.

He had 7.4 percent, based on more than 80 percent of votes cast.

On the eve of the elections, hundreds of thousands of people packed the Maltepe shore on the Asian side of Istanbul for Ince's final speech, which followed massive rallies in Izmir, Ankara, and elsewhere.

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In another incident, a mass brawl broke out when scours of citizens voted in bulk at polling station in Suruc.

His supporters say only Erdogan can guarantee Turkey's economic and political stability in hard times. But after initially saying Erdogan would fall well short of a first-round victory, it said simply it would continue its democratic struggle "whatever the result".

The former physics teacher, who has pledged to end what he calls Erdogan's "one-man rule", claimed the gathering attracted 5 million people, although no official estimates were available.

The elections complete Turkey's switch from a parliamentary democracy to an executive presidency, which was approved in a contested referendum previous year.

In Germany, where more than 1.4 million eligible Turkish voters live, Erdoğan had garnered 65.4 percent of the vote.

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