Though the winner of the presidential election in Turkey has yet to be decided, Azerbaijani officials and the country's pro-government media appear certain in the victory of incumbent strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom they enthusiastically boosted ahead of the polls.
In the first round of the elections on May 14, there was no winner. President Erdogan led with 49.50 percent of the votes, while his rival Kemal Kilichdaroglu, head of the Republican People's Party and joint opposition candidate, gained just under 45 percent. As no one received a majority, a second round - the first in Turkey's history - is to be held between the two on May 28.
Despite the lack of a decisive outcome, Azerbaijani officials leaped to celebrate Erdogan's performance. President Ilham Aliyev called his Turkish counterpart the next day and congratulated him "for winning the majority vote in presidential and parliament elections". (Elections for Turkish parliament were held in tandem with the presidential poll; Erdogan's bloc won 322 of the 600 seats, while Kilichdaroglu's allies received 212.)
"President Ilham Aliyev noted that under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Republic of Turkey has made great progress, and as a manifestation of this, the fraternal Turkish people have shown their trust in their leader in these elections as well," Aliyev's press service noted.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, meanwhile, called his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Chavushoglu to offer congratulations.
Parliament members and pro-government media in Azerbaijan had been ardently supporting Erdogan - and denigrating Kilicdaroglu - ahead of the election, and the trend was cemented after the results in the first round of elections.
One of the main news agencies, Report.az, called the May 14 elections "a successful test of democracy and demonstration of trust in Erdogan. … Some were thinking that an era would end with these elections. However, the elections proved that he is still capable of being a leader for the Turkish state," one piece read.
"Although he did not win in the first round, Turkish voters once again supported R.T. Erdogan. He is expected to win the second round brilliantly."
"Turkey and the brotherly Turkish people, who have successfully passed all the tests of history, have successfully passed this test as well. On May 14, the state and people of Turkey taught the world a lesson in democracy," Azerbaijani MP Vugar Iskandarov told another news agency, APA.
Heydar Isayev is a journalist from Baku.