World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave a speech at the AK Party's headquarters in Ankara from a balcony to thousands of cheering supporters as early results showed it winning some 44-46 percent of the vote, and the opposition CHP trailing with 23-28 percent.
Erdogan said on election victory "I thank God for this great victory and this significant result."
"Turkey's enemies are disappointed today. The nation buried hands at the ballotbox that tried to curb its independence" he said.
Erdogan accuses a U.S.-based Islamic cleric, a former ally, of mounting a smear campaign using a network of followers in the police force to concoct a corruption case against him.
Last week the crisis reached a new level when a secret top-level security meeting about Syria was taped and posted on YouTube.
Erdogan said "There will not be a state within the state. Time has come to weed them out," adding he would "enter the lair" of enemies who leaked state secrets. "They will pay for this," he said.
"This is the wedding day of the new Turkey," Erdogan said. "Today is the victory day of the new Turkey, 77 million united and together as brothers."
According to early unofficial results, the AK Party received 47 percent of the votes, with nearly 43 percent of ballot boxes having been opened across the country.
The early figures show a rise of nine points for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party in comparison to the last local polls in 2009.
The results suggest Turkey's 52-million electorate, including first-time voters - some of whom were active in last year's anti-government 'Gezi' protests - have given their affirmation to Erdogan's rule.
It also indicates a convincing nod of approval for Erdogan in upcoming presidential polls in August should he decide to run, as many expect him to do after his three terms as prime minister.
Votes for mayors in Turkey's three big cities were evenly divided between the AK Party and the main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP.
The AK Party's vote percentage in the polls compares well with the more recent general elections in 2011, where it got 49 percent. It won 38 percent in the 2009 local polls -- meaning it has maintained a loyal base of electoral support to retain power for another term at local administration level.
Last Mod: 31 Mart 2014, 02:02