Aug. 14, 2014, 1:40 p.m.
Turkey’s first direct election for president was held on Sunday 10 August 2014. Previously, the President was elected by parliament. However, in 2007, Turkey held a referendum and almost 70 percent of participants voted in favor of allowing the President to be directly elected.[i] Turkey, a republic since 1923, has a population of over 80 million, is a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member (since 1952), and extends over Europe and Asia.[ii][iii] The three candidates in the election were: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN,[iv] 60, of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP); Ekmeleddin ISHSANOGLU, 70, of the opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP) and National Action Party (NHP); and Selahattin DEMIRTAS, 41, the candidate of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).[v] There were over 50,189,930 registered voters and preliminary results show voter turnout to be over 70 percent.[vi][vii] Preliminary results have Mr. ERDOGAN winning approximately 52 percent of the vote.[viii] His opponents, Mr. ISHSANOGLU and Mr. DEMIRTAS, won 38.3 percent and 9.7 percent of the vote, respectively.[ix] Turkey’s Supreme Election Council has counted 99 percent of the total votes and final results are due in the coming weeks.[x] If a candidate did not attain 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election would have been held on Sunday 24 August 2014.
[iv] Notably, Mr. ERDOGAN has served three terms as Prime Minister and due to the AKP’s own rules, he could not seek a fourth term: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/02/world/europe/erdogan-survivor-of-protests-and-inquiries-to-seek-turkeys-presidency.html