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ICC Note: President Erdogan won the election yesterday, ushering in new constitutional changes that radically change the country’s system of government. Much of the parliament’s oversight of his presidency has been abolished, and Erdogan now has significant powers over the legal system. Turkish Christians have regularly pointed towards the legal system as being one of the major driving forces of persecution, and Erdogan has made it clear that he views Christianity has a threat to his rule.  

06/25/2018 Turkey (al-Monitor) –  President Recep Tayyip Erdogan handily won re-election Sunday, cementing his hold on power with immense new authority, but his historic victory was tempered after his ruling party was deprived of a majority in a concurrent parliamentary vote and the opposition refusal to concede.

His main rival, Muharrem Ince, nominated by center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP), had not yet admitted defeat in the early hours of Monday. Other opposition parties also cried foul play over the integrity of the vote.

Erdogan, Turkey’s most popular if contentious politician, won 52.6% of the vote with 99% of ballot boxes counted, trailed by Ince, who drew record crowds during a spirited campaign but won just 30.7%, failing to force Erdogan into a second round, according to unofficial results reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency.

In uncharacteristically conciliatory remarks, Erdogan said Turkey had taught the world “a lesson in democracy.”

“It is time to leave the tension and resentments experienced during the election period behind us and focus on the future,” he said in his first comments after polls showed he was on track to win.

The election ushers in a new era in Turkey, marking the end of a century-old parliamentary democracy and the transition to an executive presidential system, bestowing on Erdogan immense new powers he has long coveted.

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