Turkey's Erdogan Declares Victory in Local Elections
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in local polls and said he would “enter the lair” of enemies, who have leaked state secrets and accused him of corruption, saying “they will pay for this”.
While Erdogan’s AK Party was well ahead in overall votes after Sunday’s elections, the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) appeared close to seizing the capital, Ankara, AFP reported.
Erdogan, fighting the biggest challenge of his 12-year rule, addressed supporters from a balcony at the AKP headquarters at the end of a long and bitter election campaign in which he has labelled his opponents “terrorists” and an “alliance of evil”.
The harsh tone of his balcony address suggested he felt he now had a mandate for strong action against his enemies. “From tomorrow, there may be some who flee,” he said.
The election campaign has been dominated by a power struggle between Erdogan and a moderate US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whom he accuses of using a network of followers in police and judiciary to fabricate graft accusations in an effort to topple him.
Erdogan has purged thousands of police officers and hundreds of judges and prosecutors since anti-graft raids in December targeting businessmen close to him and sons of ministers.
“We will enter their lair,” he said. “They will pay the price, they will be brought to account. How can you threaten national security?”