Turkey elections: Erdogan congratulated by Putin and Zelenskyy after win

Opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu calls it 'the most unfair election in years'

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledges supporters at the presidential palace in Ankara. Getty
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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy led the congratulations on Sunday after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan extended his two-decade rule.

Mr Erdogan's challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, called it “the most unfair election in years” but did not dispute the outcome.

Official results showed he won 47.9 per cent of the votes, compared with Mr Erdogan's 52.1 per cent, pointing to a deeply divided nation.

Mr Erdogan received messages of congratulations from leaders around the globe after Sunday's run-off election.

“The election victory was a natural result of your selfless work as the head of the Republic of Turkey, clear evidence of the support of the Turkish people for your efforts to strengthen state sovereignty and conduct an independent foreign policy,” Mr Putin said in a message to Mr Erdogan.

“We highly appreciate your personal contribution to the strengthening of friendly Russian-Turkish relations and mutually beneficial co-operation in various areas.”

Mr Zelenskyy also sent a message of congratulations on Twitter.

“We count on the further strengthening of the strategic partnership for the good of our countries, as well as the strengthening of co-operation for the security and stability of Europe,” he said.

US President Joe Biden said he looked forward to working together with him, as Nato allies, “on bilateral issues and shared global challenges”.

Turkish state news agency Anadolu tweeted a list of leaders from 23 countries who sent messages, including those from Gulf states Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, as well as leaders from Iran, Israel and Palestine.

In a phone call, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak laid emphasis on the “strong relationship between the UK and Turkey, as economic partners and close Nato allies”.

French President Emmanuel Macron said France and Turkey had “huge challenges to face together”.

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, also sent their congratulations.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent a cable of congratulations to Mr Erdogan.

“On the occasion of your excellency's re-election for a new presidential term, I am pleased to send your excellency my sincere congratulations and best wishes for success,” Prince Mohammed said.

In a tweet, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his confidence "that our bilateral ties and co-operation on global issues will continue to grow in the coming times".

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Mr Erdogan that their two countries were close partners and allies, whose people and economies were deeply intertwined.

“Congratulations to President Erdogan. Together we want to advance our common agenda with a fresh impetus,” he said.

EU Council President Charles Michel said in a tweet that he looked forward to working with Mr Erdogan to deepen relations between the EU and Turkey.

Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, also wrote on Twitter: “I look forward to continue building the EU-Turkiye relationship. It is of strategic importance for both the EU and Turkiye to work on advancing this relationship, for the benefit of our people.”

Updated: May 29, 2023, 7:02 AM