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Tayyip Erdogan Erdogan elected 12th president of Turkey
Monday August 11, 2014 0:44 AM, Agencies

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been elected 12th president of Turkey in first presidential poll decided by popular vote, local news agency Anadolu Agecny reported.


"Tayyip Erdogan has won Turkey's first popular presidential election on Sunday with just over 52 percent of the vote", Mustafa Sentop, deputy chairman of the ruling AK Party, is quoted as saying by news agencies.

Turkey's electoral authorities are not officially due to announce their first results until Monday, with final figures due later in the week, but Erdogan, 60, is expected to make a victory address later on Sunday.

Earlier MENA news agency citing Turkish media had reported that Erdogan got 56 percent of the votes after almost half of the votes were counted.

With nearly 93 percent of the votes counted, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, former Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, could gain just 37 percent.

Selahattin Demirtas, the head of the leftist pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, is in third place with just over 9 percent.

The presidential election, sandwiched between the local polls back in March and the upcoming general elections in June 2015, is the first ever to be decided by popular vote.

It is widely seen as a referendum on the leadership of Prime Minister Erdogan, standing for the ruling Justice and Development Party.

Erdogan, 60, said he wanted to turn the largely ceremonial post of the president into the country's executive powerhouse.

He has been prime minister since 2003 and is barred from standing for that office again.

Erdogan is revered by supporters for boosting the economy and for giving a voice to conservatives.

After the provisional results were announced Ihsanoglu, joint candidate for the two main opposition parties, said: "I congratulate Prime Minister and wish him success."

Erdogan said: "The people showed their will at the polls today."

The president election in Turkey, first to be decided by popular vote, was seen with interest all over the world. This prompted internet browser Google to design a doodle to mark the Turkish historic event.

On Google's Turkish home page, the company’s logo is transformed into a three-dimensional right-angle with a ballot box decorated with the Turkish flag at the bottom. A ticked ballot paper is being put in the box.

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