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From Ataturk’s republic to Erdogan’s 'new Turkey'

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's victory at the presidential polls heralds the inauguration of a "new Turkey."
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he celebrates his election victory in front of the party headquarters in Ankara August 10, 2014. Erdogan secured his place in history as Turkey's first directly elected president on Sunday, sweeping more than half the vote in a result his opponents fear heralds an increasingly authoritarian state. REUTERS/Murad Sezer (TURKEY  - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)   - RTR41W60

Aug. 10, 2014, will probably be recorded in the annals of Turkish history as a turning point. It is the date when Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the longest-serving prime minister of Turkey’s 91-year old republic, became the first president ever elected by popular vote.

Erdogan won with roughly 51.7% of the vote, a narrower margin than many had predicted. KONDA, breaking the rules, had announced 72 hours before the election that Erdogan was expected to win with 57%, a very clear margin. Other contenders were enraged that Turkey’s most prestigious polling company had been used by Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to discourage those voters spending their vacations in the coastal areas of Turkey from coming back to cast their votes.

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