Tayyip Erdogan secures his place in history as Turkey's first directly elected president, sweeping more than half the vote in a result his opponents fear heralds an increasingly authoritarian state. Gavino Garay reports.
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A sea of Turkish flags on the streets of Istanbul, as supporters celebrate Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's presidential election win.
It's a first for the nation.
Erdogan's win makes him the first ever directly elected president of Turkey.
Supporters took to the streets after Turkish broadcasters reported Erdogan won the election with 52 percent of the vote.
That's 13 points above his opponent, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.
The prime minister told his supporters the Turkish people had spoken.
(SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRIME MINISTER TAYYIP ERDOGAN SPEAKING TO THE CROWD, SAYING:
"The nation has shown its will at the end of the journey that we started on July 5th."
His supporters are thrilled with the results.
(SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) SUPPORTER OF AK PARTY, SELMA TURKYILMAZ, SAYING:
"This is really nice. The results came as we expected. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is elected President. We are really pleased."
But his journey is far from over, as Erdogan's opponents fear his election could lead to an increasingly authoritarian rule.
Erdogan vows to exercise the full powers granted to him as president. His predecessors, however, have served a primarily ceremonial role.
Ihsanoglu, the main opposition candidate, bid the prime minister good luck.
(SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) MAIN OPPOSITION CANDIDATE, EKMELEDDIN IHSANOGLU, SAYING:
"I hope this will be a good result for democracy and I congratulate Mr. Prime Minister and wish him success."
After the victory is officially confirmed, Erdogan is slated to be sworn in as president on August 28.
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