MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on winning Turkey’s first direct presidential election in the first round, the Russian leader’s spokesman said Monday.
“Putin phoned Erdogan and congratulated him on winning Turkey’s first direct presidential election in the first round. Both Erdogan and Putin expressed hope that the strategic partnership between the two states will continue to develop steadily,” Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
The spokesman added that Putin’s congratulations were also echoed by the president of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev, who is currently in the Russian southern resort city of Sochi holding negotiations with the Russian leader.
Erdogan won a landslide victory in Sunday’s presidential election in Turkey, securing 52 percent of the vote. The president’s main rival, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, garnered roughly 38 percent of the vote. About nine percent of voters supported third candidate Selahattin Demirtas.
Voter turnout was 75 percent, with a total of 40.9 million people casting their votes in the election.
The election was the first direct presidential vote in the country, where leaders had been appointed by the parliament since 1923.
In his victory speech, delivered from the balcony of his party headquarters in Ankara, Erdogan pledged to start a "new era of social reconciliation by leaving old disputes in the Old Turkey.”