Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan casts his vote at a polling station in Istanbul on August 10, 2014. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan won an outright victory in the first round of presidential elections on Sunday, promising to be a powerful head of state amid fears his country is creeping towards one-man rule.Erdogan won 51.8 percent of the vote, way ahead of his main opposition rival Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu on 38.6 percent, according to official results based on a 99 percent vote count. The result marked a personal triumph for Erdogan, 60, who has served as premier since 2003 and could potentially now be president for two mandates until 2024 .Erdogan has said he plans to revamp the post to give the presidency greater executive powers, which could see Turkey shift towards a system more like that of France if his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) succeeds in changing the constitution.The future of outgoing president Abdullah Gul, a co-founder of the AKP who appears to have distanced himself from Erdogan, is unclear.Analysts warned that Erdogan may face stiff resistance when he seeks to change the constitution and gain extra powers for the presidency.
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