Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been re-elected as President after a historic runoff, unofficial data from state media indicates.
With more than 98 percent of the votes counted on Sunday evening, Erdogan is leading the race with 52.20 percent, while his opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, stands at 47.80 percent.
State-run Anadolu agency reported that the voter turnout was at 85.24 percent.
Turkey’s Supreme Election Council is expected to officially announce the outcome of the election.
Earlier on Sunday, Erdogan asked his supporters “to stay at the ballot boxes until results are finalized.”
“Now is the time to protect the will of the people which we hold in the highest esteem,” Erdogan wrote on his Twitter account.
Erdogan supporters gathered at his Istanbul residence in anticipation of victory, chanting Allahu Akbar, or God is Greatest.
Chairman of the Supreme Election Board (YSK), Ahmet Yener, said in a statement that the election was not marred by any voting irregularities and fraud.
The polls opened at 8 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) and closed at 5 p.m. (1400 GMT) on Sunday, with more than 64 million Turks reported eligible to vote at nearly 192,000 polling stations, including more than six million who were first-time voters on May 14.
Millions of voters went to the polls in the first round to elect the country’s president and members of its 600-seat parliament, with Erdogan’s AKP winning a majority against the opposition’s six-party Nation alliance in parliament.
The overall turnout in the first round was 87.04%, of which 49.5% of the ballots went to Erdogan and 44.9% were cast in favor of Kilicdaroglu.
The 69-year-old incumbent president defied opinion polls and came out comfortably ahead with an almost five-point lead over his 74-year-old rival on May 14, but he fell just short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff.
Kilicdaroglu, a former civil servant who is the candidate of a six-party opposition alliance, leads the Republican People’s Party (CHP) created by Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Over the last week, Erdogan received the endorsement of nationalist candidate Sinan Ogan, who came third with 5.2% support in the initial vote and was eliminated.