Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory in local elections Monday, an important step in his and his party's retention of power.
The poll results came in with Erdogan and the Justice and Development party (AKP) holding the two major cities of Ankara and Instanbul and an increased share of the national vote. These elections are only local but are seen as a referendum on Erdogan's 11-year rule, as he faces growing unrest and the Turkish people accuse him of corruption and call for his resignation.
Erdogan thanked his supporters in a speech on Monday and issued a threat to his enemies.
"You have supported the new Turkey's war of independence -- I thank you. As I've said for months, we will hunt them [leakers] down in their caves. They will pay for this. They will pay a price. How dare you threaten our national security?"
Erdogan attempted to ban social media sites Twitter and YouTube because information leaked onto the websites were deemed by Erdogan a threat to national security. This victory in the local elections is a stepping stone to Erdogan launching a presidential bid, or potentially introducing legislation allowing him to serve a fourth term as Prime Minister.