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The Latest on the expanded powers of Turkey's president (all times local): 6:25 p.m. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been re-elected as the leader of Turkey's ruling party.

With 565 coaches from the 81 provinces of Turkey, more than 60,000 members of the ruling party arrived in Ankara to attend an extraordinary conference that began at 10 am Sunday in Ankara Arena closed in the Turkish capital.

In a speech after the historic vote, Erdogan said they are ushering in a new era for the party's work in the service of the country and nation.

He is the first president to lead a party since Ismet Inonu, who succeeded modern Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and was head of state until 1950.

Erdogan won with 51.4 percent of the vote but most of the new system will not come into force until November 3, 2019.

Such sweeping political changes, Mr Erdogan says, are vital to ensure stability in Turkey as it battles Kurdish and Islamist militants and after an attempted coup past year that Ankara attributed to supporters of United States-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Erdogan led the party for three terms during his premiership between 2003 and 2014, helping build the AKP into an all-conquering election machine that has yet to be defeated at the ballot box.

Shortly after being elected president in August 2014, while handing the party reins to then-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at an AK Party extraordinary congress, Erdogan bid farewell to party members but added he was leaving with "the hope of rejoining". In addition to NGOs and ambassadors, Turkey's opposition party representatives including those from the Motherland Party (ANAP), the Democrat Party (DP), the Great Union Party (BBP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) as well as Free Cause Party (H√úDA-PAR) were among the attendees.

Erdogan will have unprecedented power within the country, controlling both the executive branch and the largest political party in Parliament.

Erdogan becomes the fourth president to retain his party ties.

The president will succeed his premier Binali Yildirim, who ruled the controversial party until 2016.

He also said Turkey would keep the state of emergency in place as long as needed.

After becoming a party member again in an emotional grand ceremony in Ankara, Erdogan said he had "returned to my home, my passion, my love".

"This new prerogative will allow him to design both a party apparatus and a parliamentary group composed entirely of loyalists".

Erdogan recently said he won't be lifting it anytime soon.

On the eve of the congress, police killed two suspected Islamic State militants during a raid on an apartment in Ankara, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.


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