Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wins new five year term
Ankara: Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won another five year term after been re-elected in the recently concluded elections, reports said on Monday.
He won more than 50 percent of the polls, while his closest opponent hovered around the 30 percent mark.
According to reports, Erdogan has won 53 percent of the votes after the counting of 99 percent of all legal votes. Muharrem Ince, his closest opponent, won 31 percent of the votes.
Though the opponents are yet to concede, they said that the fight will be on, irrespective of the results.
The officials results will be declared on Friday.
Securing the win, Erdogan thanked his supporters at 3 am on Monday.
"The winner of this election is each and every individual among my 81 million citizens," he said from the balcony of his party's headoffice.
Critics are seeing this not just another term for Turkey's longstanding leader, but one that will cement his place in the nation's politics.
Erdogan has already managed to gain Turkey's vote to strengthen his power and under a new constitution, he will be able to directly appoint top officials, including cabinet minister and vice-presidents.
Muharrem Ince won 31% of the votes and finished second in the polls. Image: twitter.com/vekilinceAccording to the new law, Erdogan will have the power to intervene in Turkey's legal system and impose a state of emergency, if and when he thinks it fit.
While Erdogan thinks that the enhanced power will allow him to tackle Turkey's economic problems and fight off terrorists, commentators fear that it will create an imbalance as it's too much authority for one person alone.
Many critics have said in the past that they feel Erdogan is slowly turning Turkey into the next Pakistan biting into its long secular values upon which Kemal Ataturk founded the nation.
According to Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistani ambassador to Washington, Erdogan's actions and political thinking resembles Pakistan's military dictator between 1978 and 1988, Zia ul-Haq.
Much like Zia, the Turkish President too is pushing for the Islamisation of Turkey while pumping government money and depositing it into Islamic schools.
Opponents in the country are also worried about the significant rise of Imam Hatip religious schools. Erdogan has attended one such schools and has roots in political Islam.
Critics have blamed Erdogan of trying to undo the work of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.
President Erdogan during one of his rallies. He won 53% of the votes. Image: twitter.com/RT_Erdogan Ataturk believed that the country should be free of religious teachings.
Last year, Turkey also scraped Darwin's Theory of Evolution and replaced it with 'Jihad'.
When quizzed about the theory's exclusion, Turkey's education minister Ismet Yilmaz said that it is above the students' level and not directly relevant, prompting sharp criticism from the opposition.
Stating that the real meaning of Jihad is 'loving your nation', Yilmaz told reporters: "It is also our duty to fix what has been perceived as wrong. This is why the Islamic law class and basic fundamental religion lectures will include jihad."
However, contrary to Yilmaz's statement, jihad has had a serious effect globally.
Though it translates to 'holy war', many scholars have stated that jihad also refers to personal, spiritual struggle against sin, but militants have chosen another explanation, a more bloody option of waging war against enemies of Islam, thus giving rise to several Islamist terror groups.
Banner Image: twitter.com/RT_Erdogan