After Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan won Sunday in a runoff vote that posed the biggest challenge to his 20 years of rule, wishes started pouring in from across the world on his historic re-election.
Erdogan won re-election Sunday, extending his rule into a third decade as the country reels from high inflation and the aftermath of an earthquake that leveled entire cities.
A third term gives Erdogan an even stronger hand domestically and internationally, and the election results will have implications far beyond the capital of Ankara. Turkey stands at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and it plays a key role in NATO.
On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin was among the first to congratulate the Turkish leader on his re-election.
“Your victory in these elections is the logical result of your dedicated work as head of the Turkish Republic,” Putin said, according to the Kremlin website.
The European Union and the NATO military alliance, two organisations with which the Turkish President has repeatedly clashed, also congratulated him on his re-election.
“Congratulations President (Erdogan) on your re-election. I look forward to continuing our work together and preparing for the NATO Summit in July,” tweeted Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO, of which Turkey is a member.
“I congratulate (Erdogan) on winning the elections. 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,” tweeted Ursula von der Leyen, president of the Commission of the European Union, which Erdogan aspires for Turkey to join.
While congratulating the Turkish President, US President Joe Biden said he looks forward to continuing to work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges.
However, Biden made no mention of recent tensions in the bilateral relationship.
Congratulations to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Türkiye on his re-election.I look forward to continuing to work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 28, 2023
Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak congratulated Erdogan on his re-election on Sunday emphasising the two countries’ ongoing security collaboration.
“Congratulations to (President Erdogan). I look forward to continuing the strong collaboration between our countries, from growing trade to tackling security threats as NATO allies,” Sunak wrote on Twitter.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz congratulated Erdogan on Sunday, hailing the countries as “close partners and allies” whose “people and economies are deeply intertwined”.
“Congratulations to President Erdogan — together we want to advance our common agenda with a fresh impetus,” Scholz wrote on Twitter.
Germany and Türkiye are close partners and allies, our people and economies are deeply intertwined. Congratulations to President Erdoğan – together we want to advance our common agenda with a fresh impetus!— Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (@Bundeskanzler) May 28, 2023
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the re-election of Erdogan, who despite close ties with Russia’s leader has positioned himself as a mediator in the ongoing conflict.
“We count on the further strengthening of the strategic partnership for the good of our countries, as well as the strengthening of cooperation for the security and stability of Europe,” Zelensky said in a post on Twitter.
As the head of Turkey’s election commission declared President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the winner of the runoff vote, Erdogan thanked the nation for entrusting him with the presidency for five more years.
“We hope to be worthy of your trust, as we have been for 21 years,” he told supporters on a campaign bus outside his home in Istanbul in his first comments after the results emerged.
(With AP input)