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Turkey's main opposition candidate concedes election but warns of '1-man regime'

Turkey's Muharrem Ince has conceded defeat in Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections, calling on the winner, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to end his divisive policies.

Erdogan's coalition received just enough support for a majority in parliament

A day after Sunday's election, Muharrem Ince, the candidate of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party, spoke in Ankara and called on Recep Tayyip Erdogan to govern inclusively following his re-election as president. (Burhan Ozbilici/Associated Press)

Turkey's main opposition candidate Muharrem Ince has conceded defeat in Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections, calling on the winner, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who returns as president, to end his divisive policies.

Ince told reporters on Monday: "I accept the results of the election."

Erdogan garnered 52.6 per cent of the vote, according to unofficial results. Ince, his closest rival, won 30.6 per cent.

Ince called on Erdogan to "be everyone's president, embrace everyone. That's what I would have done if I had won."

The 54-year-old politician criticized Turkey's new system, saying: "Turkey has cut off its links with democracy. It has cut off links with the parliamentary system. It is transitioning toward a one-man regime."

Erdogan, accompanied by his wife Emine, waves to supporters of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara early Monday. Since a 2016 coup attempt, Erdogan has consolidated power, jailed opponents and clamped down on journalists. (Presidency Press Service via AP)

Ince said he had garnered 15 million votes and would work to increase them to 30 million.

Five candidates ran against Erdogan.

Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the Pro-Kurdish HDP, surpassed the 10 per cent threshold needed to make it to parliament, winning a projected 67 seats of 600, according to unofficial results.

Demirtas, who has been in pretrial detention since November 2016 on terror-related charges, was forced to lead his campaign from prison and won 8.4 per cent of the presidential vote.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

On Monday, Demirtas tweeted: "While other candidates could stage 100 campaign rallies, I was able to send out 100 tweets.

"The fact that I was forced to campaign in detention conditions was the greatest injustice."

Media coverage criticism

While the candidates accepted the results, some international observers have criticized the uneven playing field in the elections and said some monitors were obstructed while carrying out their mission.

Audrey Glover, who headed an OSCE delegation, said Monday that unbalanced media coverage in favour of Erdogan and his ruling party resulted in voters not being able to "get informed choice."

A man reads a daily newspaper detailing results of the presidential and parliamentary elections in Istanbul on Monday. Erdogan received the lion's share of coverage in the country's current media landscape. (Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images)

She said Turkey had "work" to do to ensure that future elections meet democratic standards.

Ignacio Sanchez Amor, the mission's special co-ordinator, said the observers "profoundly regret" that two observers were denied entry into Turkey over alleged bias against the country. He called the move an "utterly unacceptable attempt to influence" the process.

Monitors, however, praised the high turnout in the Turkish vote, which was reported to be over 87 per cent by the state-run Anadolu Agency.

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