INTERNATIONAL

Tayyip Erdogan Wins New Five-Year Term

Turkey's long-standing leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a new five-year term after securing outright victory in the first round of a presidential poll.

In an election victory speech Erdogan said Turkey will continue to liberate Syrian lands so that refugees can return to their country safely.

Speaking to supporters from the balcony of his ruling AK Party's Headquarters in Ankara after Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections, Erdogan said Turkey would also act more decisively against terrorist organizations.

He also pledged that authorities, who have waged a nationwide crackdown since a failed military coup two years ago, would act more decisively against terrorist organizations.

Erdogan and his ruling AK party claimed victory in Turkey's presidential and parliamentary polls on Sunday overcoming the biggest electoral challenge to their rule in a decade and a half.

State media reports put Recep Erdogan on 53% with 99% of votes counted, and his closest rival Muharrem Ince on 31%.

The main opposition party did not immediately concede defeat. But after initially saying Erdogan would fall well short of a first-round victory, it said simply it would continue its democratic struggle "whatever the result".

The head of Turkey's electoral board said Erdogan had won an absolute majority, with more than 97 percent of votes counted.