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Erdogan re-elected president for the third time in a historic run-off

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets supporters at the AK party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, May 15, 2023. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to officially become Turkey’s president for the third time. With 97% of the ballots counted, Erdogan maintains a comfortable lead over his rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

The official Anadolu State News Agency showed the leader of Islamic descent ahead of his secular opposition rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu by four percentage points, with 97% of the ballots counted.

The historical trickle posed the greatest challenge to Erdogan’s 20 years of transformative but divisive rule.

The 69-year-old leader faced Turkey’s biggest economic crisis in generations and united the opposition to take a dominant direction.

Turkey’s longest-serving leader, a member of NATO, was tested like never before in what was widely regarded as the country’s most important election in its 100-year rule. history as a post-Ottoman republic.

Kilicdaroglu cobbled together a powerful coalition of Erdogan’s disenchanted former allies with secular nationalists and religious conservatives.

He pushed Erdogan in his first second round on May 14 and closed the gap again in the second round.

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