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Erdogan wins with 80 percent of Austrian Turks

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Erdogan wins with 80 percent of Austrian Turks
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Oliver Berg/dpa
10:02 CEST+02:00
Recep Tayyip Erdogan secured his place in history as Turkey's first directly elected president on Sunday, sweeping more than half the vote in a result his opponents fear heralds an increasingly authoritarian state.

In Austria Erdogan managed to gain 80.3 percent of Turkish voters. The Prime Minister visited Austria and Germany earlier this year, as Turkey allowed its diaspora to vote in the presidential elections for the first time.

This was announced by the government-related Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak. However, only nine percent or 9,519 of 105,478 voters living in Austria cast their votes.

Erdogan received 7,590 votes, whereas his opponent Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu got 1,396 votes (14.6 percent) and Selahattin Demirtas 496 votes (4.9 percent).

Altogether Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister for more than a decade, won 51.8 percent of the vote, 13 points more than his closest rival, and thereby avoiding the need for a second round run-off.

Erdogan's main rival in Sunday's election, Ihsanoglu, a former diplomat and academic who won 38.5 percent of the vote according to broadcasters CNN Turk and NTV, congratulated Erdogan on the result in a brief statement.

Demirtas took 9.7 percent, according to the TV stations - a result for an ethnic Kurd that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago as Turkey battled a Kurdish rebellion and sought to quell demands from the ethnic minority.

If his victory is confirmed, Erdogan will be sworn in as president on 28th August. The ruling AK Party was to begin meeting shortly to start deciding on candidates to replace him as premier and party leader. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is seen as a leading candidate.

Erdogan's core supporters, religious conservatives, see his victory as the crowning achievement of his drive to reshape Turkey and break the hold of a secular elite.

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