Turkey's Erdogan says he would accept a presidential election runoff

Early on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been in power for 20 years, was in a tight race for the presidency, with a potential runoff against his main rival as the votes were being counted.

Whether the results are announced soon or after a second round of voting takes place in two weeks, they will determine whether Erdogan maintains control of a NATO ally that borders

Syria and Iran while straddling Europe and Asia or reverts to the more democratic course pledged by his main rival, opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

Erdogan, 69, said in a speech to supporters in Ankara that he could still win but would respect the country's choice if the election went to a runoff vote in two weeks.

"We still don't know if the first round of voting was successful. Early on Monday, Erdogan said, "If our nation has decided for a second round, that is also welcome.

Votes from Turkish citizens living abroad still need to be counted. In 2018, he received 60% of the vote from abroad.

Domestic issues like the economy, civil rights, and a February earthquake that claimed more than 50,000 lives dominated this year's election.

However, Erdogan's unconventional economic management and frequently erratic but successful attempts to position Turkey at the center of international negotiations also kept Western countries and foreign investors interested in the outcome.

Read more stories