PARIS: Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a decisive victory in an election that will give him five more years in office with sweeping new powers.
Here are some of the first reactions on Monday from foreign governments:
Russian President Vladimir Putin “stressed that the results of the vote fully speak of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s great political authority (and) mass support of the course conducted under his leadership to solve Turkey’s pressing social and economic tasks (and) strengthen the country’s position on the international arena,” the Kremlin said.
Putin stressed his readiness to continue “close joint work” and dialogue with Erdogan.
Turkey and Russia are on opposite sides in Syria, with Moscow remaining the chief ally of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and Ankara backing rebels seeking his ouster.
However, Putin and Erdogan have forged an increasingly close alliance in recent months.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg congratulated Erdogan but stressed the alliance, of which Turkey is a member, “is based on some core values: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty.
“I personally attach great importance to these values and I underline the importance of these values in many different NATO capitals including Ankara when I met Turkish leaders there,” Stoltenberg said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offered his “sincerest congratulations” to Erdogan.
He hoped that bilateral relations “could further develop based on firm historical, cultural and religious bonds, good neighbourliness, mutual respect and common interests, and close, responsible cooperation between the two countries regarding the developments in the region and the World of Islam to prepare better groundwork for resolving issues and fostering peace and stability, as well as welfare for the peoples of the region.”
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing congratulates Erdogan and “respects the choice made by the Turkish people.”
“China attaches great importance to its ties with Turkey. In recent years, under the guidance of the two heads of state, our bilateral ties and cooperation in all areas have been moving forward, and achieved a lot of positive outcomes,” Geng said.
“China is willing to work more with Turkey, to move forward our strategic cooperation, to serve the benefits of our two countries and two peoples.”
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom that “Turkey is in no position to give other countries lessons in democracy when the (Kurdish) opposition leader has been in jail for a long time”.
She was referring to Erdogan’s victory speech in which he said the almost 90 percent voter turnout “taught the entire world a democracy lesson”.
“The Kurdish issue and the economic developments in Turkey pose a serious challenge. We’ve been worried about how Turkey has been developing recently…it’s very alarming,” she told public broadcaster SVT ahead of an EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg.
Asked whether Turkey would become more democratic with Erdogan bolstering his powers Wallstrom said: “I unfortunately do not have any great hopes but we have to give them a chance.”
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic congratulated Erdogan, saying that Belgrade “will continue to be a reliable partner of Turkey and of its role as a leader ready to defend the values and principles in these more than difficult times.”
Bosnian Muslim leader Bakir Izetbegovic told Erdogan he was “convinced that you will continue to lead Turkey for the welfare of the Turkish people, but that you will also pursue, in the international arena, the fight for the rights of those who are deprived of them.
“That is exactly why your victory is celebrated not only in Turkey but also across the Muslim world.”
Erdogan in late May addressed thousands of expatriate Turks in Sarajevo, at his only election rally outside Turkey after other European countries banned such events.
Boyko Borisov, the prime minister of Turkey’s neighbour Bulgaria, congratulated Erdogan in a telephone call.
“I’m convinced that we will work together to consolidate relations between our two countries in the area of migration, as well as for peace and stability in the region.”
Borisov also told the Turkish president that he had insisted during a mini-summit on the migrant crisis in Brussels on Sunday that an EU-Turkey accord on migration be respected, the government press service said.
Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban welcomed Erdogan’s re-election.
“Turkey’s stability is good news for the whole of Europe, because our continent faces a number of serious security challenges, and it is essential to overcome them with predictable and effective cooperation with Turkey,” Orban said in a letter to Erdogan quoted by his office.—AFP