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Turks speak out about the choice of Erdogan to be the first democratically elected President of Turkey

Erdogan gives a victory speech in Ankara earlier this month (AA)

Erdogan gives a victory speech in Ankara earlier this month (AA)

 

On 10 August, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was elected President with a majority of 52 per cent of votes despite having endured a turbulent year mired in controversy and a corruption scandal.

 

Over 20 million Turkish citizens cast their ballots for Erdogan, chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), who will start his five-year term on 28 August 2014, further extending his 12 years in power.

 

This is the first time in Turkey’s history that the president will have been elected by the people, instead of by parliament due to a referendum in 2007.

 

Coming in second with 38 per cent of votes was Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, an independent and the preferred candidate among secular Turks. Selahattin Demirtas, of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party was the final candidate who gathered 10 per cent of votes.

 

Middle East Eye went out to the streets of Istanbul to ask Turks how they felt about Erdogan’s victory and what problems they think their country faces.

 

Published on the Middle East Eye on August 19, 2014.

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