Erdogan is declared victor of Turkey's presidential election

Erdogan has relied on his religious core to help him through 16 years of election wins

Erdogan has relied on his religious core to help him through 16 years of election wins

According to unofficial results that have yet to be confirmed by the electoral board, Erdogan garnered 52.5 percent of the votes, while his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, won 42.5 percent in the parliamentary vote.

The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party, whose presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas was forced to campaign from jail, received the more than 10 percent of votes required to win seats in parliament, spilling thousands of its supporters into the streets in celebration.

Ince, an affable physics teacher who has been an MP for 16 years has sought a united front against Erdoğan over the course of the campaign and has pledged to roll back presidential powers, restore the rule of law in Turkey and end the prosecution and imprisonment of dissidents and journalists. The parliamentary election results so far are similar, with a substantial lead for the ruling AK Party. He accused the agency of "manipulation" of the results.

Trailing were Meral Aksener of the nationalist (Iyi) Good Party with over seven percent and Selahattin Demirtas of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) with nearly eight percent.

The voting marked the first time Turkish voters cast their ballots in simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections, in line with the constitutional changes approved in a referendum previous year that will transform the country's parliamentary system to an executive presidential one.

In the new era, the presidential office will have the power to appoint vice presidents, ministers, high-level officials and senior judges. In a tweet, he said only 37 per cent of ballot boxes had actually been counted, as opposed to the more than almost 90 per cent the state-run agency Anadolu was reporting. Parliament's role was severely diminished even before the constitutional changes brought in following a referendum in April 2017. Erdogan's closest competitor, Ince, vowed that he would lift the state of emergency within 48 hours if elected president and reverse all the constitutional reforms afterward.

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According to Anadolu, the CHP acquired 22.7 percent of the ballots, while its ally, IYI Party got 10.1 percent.

"This makes the MHP an important party for the AK Party and Erdogan", added Akyol.

Presidential candidate of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Muharrem Ince holds a potato and an onion as he delivers a speech during a rally in Istanbul, on June 23, 2018. A state of emergency imposed after the coup remains in place.

Since the failed July 2016 military coup, Erdoğan and his cabinet have kept the country under a state of emergency, giving them an enormous advantage over opponents.

Turkey's Western allies have repeatedly condemned the Turkish government's detentions and purges after the coup attempt. Doing so would be the right thing for the country.

"The opposition will not be a nuisance anymore with the new presidential system", said another Erdogan supporter, retired sailor Engin Ozmen, 60.

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