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Erdogan wins Turkey's landmark presidential election

Turkey's outgoing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been elected by absolute majority vote to a five-year term as president, making a second round scheduled for Aug. 24 unnecessary, Supreme Election Board confirmed late Sunday. With 100 percent of the votes counted, he won a landslide victory by securing 51.96 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the joint candidate of Turkey's two largest opposition parties, claimed 38.33 percent of the vote, whereas Selahattin Demirtas -- candidate of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party -- won 9.71 percent. The presidential election, sandwiched between the March 30 local elections and the forthcoming general elections in June 2015, was the first ever to be decided by popular vote. In his first address to his supporters following his victory, Erdogan vowed to strengthen Turkish democracy and to continue to support the ongoing "solution process" to end terrorism in the country. "We will continue our struggle to attain more advanced democracy and to make its standards prevail in our country," Erdogan said in Istanbul prior to his much-anticipated "balcony speech" in the capital, Ankara. He also thanked his ruling Justice and Development Party's youth and women wings for helping him run a successful electoral campaign.

The election was widely seen as a referendum on the Erdogan's leadership as prime minister and head of the ruling party. More than 53 million Turks were eligible to vote Sunday, and the turnout was at 73 percent. Here is the national distribution of votes in Turkey's August 10 presidential poll as of 10:15 p.m. local time according to unofficial results:

As of 19:15 GMT                                  ERDOGAN             DEMIRTAS            IHSANOGLU

NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION                  51.96%                 9.71%                 38.33%

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