President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan thrashed his closest rival Muharrem İnce and four other candidates in the first round of balloting on Sunday to become the first elected as the chief executive of the new presidential system.
It is clear that the Turkish people once again rallied behind President Erdoğan and gave him a clear mandate to overhaul the Turkish state structure and open the way for speedy decision-making and the execution of new policies.
For months if not weeks the adversaries of Turkey at home and abroad calling themselves "experts and objective journalists" were predicting a defeat for Erdoğan and were blowing the chances of Muharrem İnce out of proportion. The Western press was full of rubbish analyzing how Erdoğan would fail because he had lost the grassroots support of the masses. All those proved wrong. From now on the Western media should start re-evaluating the value of the so-called commentators on Turkey and realize that they are all hollow and good for nothing.
The elections were fair and square. The participation rate was magnificent. The Turkish people flocked to the polling stations and displayed their belief in democracy, voting for the president and the new parliament, in an incredibly mature manner. The polls were held under international and domestic scrutiny. Representatives of the political parties participating in the polls observed all the polling stations and there was no room for foul play. The elections were a model on how a plural democracy works even for Western countries.
Erdoğan won a resounding victory and deserves much praise as he is the only leader in the democratic world to have won so many elections in the past 16 years and still have massive public support.
Meanwhile the parliamentary elections also showed the maturity of the Turkish voters and the way they balanced the political landscape.
They still put President Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (Ak Party) as the top party in the new parliament but weakened its power so that it will need the support of their alliance partner the conservative Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to dominate the assembly.
Contrary to expectations and the perception campaign by the opposition, the MHP proved to do extremely well preserving its parliamentary power while also helping Erdoğan's victory.
The grand loser of the elections were the left-wing Republican People's Party (CHP) of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, which lost votes to the People's Democracy Party (HDP) and the overrated Good Party (İP) of Meral Akşener.
Akşener herself did very poorly in the presidential elections despite the perception campaign that her support was about 20 percent, which proved extremely wrong, as her party failed to draw any votes from the MHP.
The Felicity Party (SP) which also ganged up with CHP and İP was nonexistent in the polls, which was a fiasco for party chairman Temel Karamollaoğlu and his people.
The Turkish people have spoken at the polls. Erdoğan is here to stay. Now it is up to the Western leaders to realize this fact and act accordingly.
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