Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appealed for national unity on Monday after winning a historic runoff election that extended two decades of his transformative but divisive rule until 2028.
The 69-year-old overcame Turkiye’s worst economic crisis in a generation and the most powerful opposition alliance to ever face his party on his way to his toughest election win.
Streets erupted in car-honking jubilation and tributes poured in from across the world as Turkiye’s most important leader in modern history led a sea of supporters in celebratory song outside his presidential palace in Ankara.
“We should come together in unity and solidarity,” Erdogan told the chanting and flag-waving crowd. “We call for this with all our heart.”
Near-complete results showed Erdogan beating secular opposition challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu by four percentage points.
“I look forward to continuing to work together as Nato Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges,” US President Joe Biden tweeted as Erdogan spoke.
UN chief Antonio Guterres said through a spokesman that he “looks forward to further strengthening the cooperation between Turkiye and the United Nations”.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin said the outcome showed the support for Erdogan’s “efforts to strengthen state sovereignty and pursue an independent foreign policy”.
Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky said he wanted to keep working with Erdogan “for the security and stability of Europe”.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Erdogan was one of the few world leaders “whose politics has been anchored in public service”.
“I keenly look forward to working with him to further deepen our strategic partnership in line with the excellent brotherhood between our two peoples,” he said.