Scandal-hit Erdogan declares victory in polls

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in local polls that had become a referendum on his rule and said he would “enter the lair” of enemies who have accused him of corruption and leaked state secrets. “They will pay for this,” he said, Reuters reports.

Erdogan, fighting the biggest challenge of his 12-year rule, addressed supporters from a balcony at AKP headquarters at the end of a long and bitter election campaign in which he has labeled his opponents “terrorists” and an “alliance of evil”.

With about 98 percent of votes counted by early on Monday morning, AKP, in power since 2002, had 45.6 percent of the vote, the opposition CHP trailing with 28 percent, according to Turkish television.

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