Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Turkey's incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkey’s incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared victory in the country’s first election for a president who will solely govern the country without benefit of assistance from a prime minister, as has been the case until this point.

A change in the country’s constitution approved by Turkey’s parliament has created a permanent change in the structure of the government, which will now be completely led by a president — in this case, by Erdogan, 64, who appears to have won the early election that was held on Sunday.

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With at least 95 percent of the ballots counted, Erdogan had garnered nearly 53 percent of the vote; his closest competitor, Muharrem Ince, had won 30.4 percent. Kurdish candidate Selahattin Demirtas, who ran from prison, won 7.7 percent.

Erdogan, an Islamist and strong supporter of Hamas in Gaza, required more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a run-off on July 8.

However, Ince contended that despite the reported figures from the state-run Anadolu news agency, only 37 percent of the ballot boxes had actually been counted and said the state-run news agency was guilty of “manipulating” the results.

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