Erdogan vows 'new era' in Turkey after 'historic' election win

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and wife Ermine wave to supporters as he celebrates his election victory in front of the party headquarters in Ankara on August 10, 2014. Mr Erdogan secured his place in history as Turkey's first directly electe
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and wife Ermine wave to supporters as he celebrates his election victory in front of the party headquarters in Ankara on August 10, 2014. Mr 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. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ANKARA (AFP) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday vowed a “new era” of reconciliation in Turkey after winning a “historic” victory in presidential elections.

“Today we are closing an era and taking the first step for a new era,” Mr Erdogan said in a victory speech from the balcony of his party headquarters in Ankara.

He promised a “new social reconciliation process” where all Turks of whatever origin or belief would be equal citizens of the country.

“I thank each and every citizen, whether they voted for me or not, who contributed to the writing of history on such a historic day,” he added, saying the “debates of the past” would now be left behind.

“Today is a new day. Today is a milestone. Today is the day when a new Turkey is rising from the ashes.” The balcony of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters in Ankara is where Mr Erdogan has traditionally given victory speeches.

He was joined by top party officials as well as his wife Emine and the president of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev.

Said Mr Erdogan: “It is not only Recep Tayyip Erdogan who won today. Today, national will has won once again. Today, democracy has won once again.

“We may have different political views, different lifestyles, sects, values, ethnic roots... but we are all sons of this country... each of us are the owner of this state.”