Erdogan vows reconciliation after Turkish presidential win

ANKARA, (Reuters) – Tayyip Erdogan secured his place in history as Turkey’s first directly elected head of state yesterday, taking him a step closer to the presidential system he covets in a result his opponents fear heralds an increasingly authoritarian rule.

Supporters honking car horns and waving flags took to the streets in the capital Ankara after results on Turkish television said Erdogan, the prime minister for more than a decade, had won 52 percent of the vote, 13 points more than his closest rival and avoiding the need for a second round runoff.

The chairman of the High Election Board confirmed Erdogan had a majority, with more than 99 percent of votes counted, and said full provisional figures would be announced on Monday.

“Today is a new day, a milestone for Turkey, the birthday of Turkey, of its rebirth from the ashes,” Erdogan, 60, told thousands of supporters in a victory speech from the balcony of his ruling AK Party headquarters in Ankara.

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